The youth of the world are an amazing platform for change, and there are so many different interesting and enthusiastic kids involved in the climate change movement from all over the world.
The 6th COY was held in the three days immediately prior to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16). IFMSA were represented at the COY6 and we attended different workshops and working groups. Most importantly, we ran our own workshop where approximately 30 people from different youth organisations/delegations came to learn about the relationship between climate change and health. With participants from diverse backgrounds, the workshop was quite a challenge and the aim was to keep it as simple as possible with a few key messages.
On Friday (the first day), we attended a round table discussion where we met all the different working groups within the youth constituency. All the groups are really keen on getting people involved from different organizations. For instance, I have been helping for a while in a working group on Article 6: an article within the convention framework that speaks on education, training and public awareness, which is very relevant to the IFMSA. In June, the Secretariat received submissions to Article 6 and IFMSA handed in our perspective. The importance of our comments was recognised in a report from the secretariat. After the working groups was an NGO meet & greet, where we met with other NGO’s and had a chat about climate and human health.
On the second day, we ran a workshop exploring the impacts of climate change on human health, the health benefits from mitigation, and the politics so far in terms of health. There was lots of interest despite having to compete with ten other great workshops at the same time!
The last day of COY were mostly skill-sharing workshops, working groups and networking, concluded by a speech from the founder of 350.org: Bill McKibben. With our capacity-building at COY6 behind us, we look forward to a productive two weeks at COP16!