Young climate activists create global Mock COP26 to drive climate action and challenge world leaders to do better
Solomon Islands climate activist, Belyndar Rikimani to join more than 350 fellow delegates from 145 countries for two-week virtual climate conference
19 November – 01 December 2020
● Belyndar Rikimani a 23-year-old climate activist from Solomon Islands will be representing the youth of Solomon Islands at the conference.
● Mock COP26 is an online alternative to postponed COP26, organized by students across the globe to demand more action from world leaders on the climate crisis.
● More than 350 young delegates from 145 countries are set to attend, to outline the views of young people from the countries they represent.
● Delegates will produce a collective final statement that will be developed into a formal treaty, which national governments could adopt into law.
● Over 800 young people applied to attend Mock COP26, with the highest number of applicants from India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines. More than 350 young delegates from across the world will come together for a two-week virtual conference to demand more action on climate change and social justice from world leaders.
In the month when the now-postponed COP26 was due to take place in Glasgow, student activists are taking the opportunity to show the world what would happen if young people ran COP26.
Belyndar Rikimani from Solomon Islands will be representing Solomon Islands at Mock COP26, to share the views of young people from the country.
“As a young Solomon Islander representing the youth of Solomon Islands and our youth led organization. I am joining hand in hand with young climate activists from across the globe for Mock COP26. I wholeheartedly believe that its time that Youth rise and fight for their future. Now is the time the decision makers listen to the solutions we are proposing and act upon it. Now is the time we can untie to fight for a just and green future.”
Belyndar Rikimani, law student activist from the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Vice President of the Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change (PISFCC) and Mock COP26 delegate from Solomon Islands, said:
“Mock COP26 brings together Youth voices from all over the world to lead by example on efforts to address the biggest problem of the world. My motivation to join this event stems from the injustices perpetuated by climate change to my people and our region. I can no longer accept this to continue, Pacific Islanders like any human being deserve to live in dignity without fear from a dangerous climate and environment. Therefore, I fight and I am not alone in this fight, Pacific and global youth are contributing to the climate justice movement new tools and solutions that if acted upon, can help accelerate efforts towards climate justice. I am optimistic that the Mock Cop26 can be a platform where youth from all over the world can unite to encourage world leaders to take action of the plethora of concrete solutions spearheaded by the youth.”
The virtual alternative to COP26 is being coordinated by a team of 18 student staff and 196 volunteer students from 52 countries, supported by educational charity Students Organizing for Sustainability (SOS-UK).
Mock COP26 will equip and empower youth around the world to engage their political leaders on climate targets and will culminate in a powerful statement outlining what leaders should agree to at COP26 – and what young people of the world should do in the absence of sufficient global ambition.
Environmental law charity ClientEarth will support the students throughout the conference, to develop the final statement into a legal treaty which national governments could adopt into law.
Over 800 young people across the globe applied to take part in Mock COP26, with the highest number of applicants coming from India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines. There is consensus amongst young people that voices in the Global South are not being heard, resulting in a determination to ensure that students from the Global South, and marginalized voices, are represented and heard at the conference.
The conference will feature empowering keynotes and panels by global names and youth activists, including the UN Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake and the COP26 Champion for UN Climate Talks, Nigel Topping. The discussions will be framed around five conference themes: climate justice, education, health and mental health, green jobs, and carbon reduction targets (NDCs), and the focus will be on speakers from the Global South and marginalized groups.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Envoy on Youth said: “I am delighted to see so many young climate leaders from around the world coming together to organize Mock COP26, and making a commitment to continue amplifying marginalized voices within the climate movement. Young people worldwide — and particularly those in the developing world — are already disproportionately experiencing the worst impacts of climate change. They will also be the ones facing the long-term consequences of climate decisions made by world leaders today.
“I join them in asking decision-makers everywhere to take the climate crisis seriously and commit to meaningful action on climate change so that we can ensure a healthy and sustainable planet for generations to come.” Each country’s delegation will have an opportunity to make a high-level statement outlining the views of young people from the countries they represent, with more time allocated to countries from the Global South, and those facing the most severe impact from our changing climate.
The conference will culminate in a powerful final statement to world leaders from the youth of the world, raising ambition for COP26. Delegates will then be supported and mentored to engage and lobby their domestic politicians in the run up to COP26.
You can keep up to date with Mock COP26 on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, and by following the hashtags #MockCOP26 and #ForTheYouthByTheYouth.
For information: Belyndar Rikimani – [email protected] +6787376764