COP 16 Day 8 – Article 6: The IFMSA Changes History!

Greetings Climate Sports Fans,

Today’s day 9 of COP16, and the IFMSA team has some EXCITING news for you!

Remember that pesky Article 6 we’ve been working on for the last 8 months? Well.. It’s almost finished! But before we tell you how it ends, lets go back to where it all began!

Bonn – The UNFCCC Intersessional

World youth, under the banner of YOUNGO (Youth NGOs) lobbied the secretariat tirelessly to be allowed to present submissions to the process on Article 6 (Education, Training and Public Awareness), and were successful! This was done in part by none-other than Danny Hutley (Medsin-UK) – Well done Danny!

What this meant was, that Civil Society was provided a unique opportunity to influence negotiations at COP16. You see, when we’re talking about international negotiations on Climate Change, nothing happens over night… It all requires well thought out strategic planning.

August 2010

In August (just after AM10), the IFMSA and Medsin-UK jointly made a submission to the UNFCCC on Article 6. This submission discussed how essential it was that the impacts of Climate Change on HEALTH be included in the education system and the importance of Non-Formal Education (Like the IFMSA Training Support Division). This was followed up by strong advocacy on the behalf of a few people within the IFMSA, discussing the proposal in-depth with the UNFCCC Secretariat.

The Secretariat took special note of our submission and our work, and medical students, Health and non-formal education was explicitly mentioned in the Synthesis report (a summary from which negotiators would work, in Mexico)

The stage was set for COP16!

COP16 – The IFMSA Changes History!

This brings us to Cancun, Mexico – the UNFCCC’s COP16.

In Cancun, the Youth got organised. We devised a plan for action, and decided that no matter how the COP played out, the Youth would act!

With everyone’s help, we prepared a policy brief for the COP, identifying key provisions for inclusion in the “New Climate Change Deal” (The Ad-Hock Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action). Through “insider information” from the UNFCCC Secretariat, Youth delegations and friendly negotiators, we were able to identify who would support our policies and who would turn them down.

From there, we did a SWOT analysis, using the countries who agreed with us as our strengths in an attempt to strengthen our proposal, which proved to be VERY useful (thank you Dominican Republic).

The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) discussed the proposals, with strong interventions from the Youth and the IFMSA. With the help of our allies (and the G77+China), the discussion moved along quickly, and everyone agreed within 90 minutes, a truly remarkable feat!!!

The discussion has now been moved to the main plenary, where it will be discussed shortly. Our “inside sources” tell us that this should pass through the plenary easily due to our work in the past.

What’s the important message to take from this?

The youth are organised, and when we work together, we can make things happen!

The IFMSA and YOUNGO wrote over 1/3rd of the Document currently been negotiated… We Changed History.

Until next time,

Charlotte, Nick, and the IFMSA COP16 Team

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