Go directly to COP 22 | COP 21 and COY 11

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are annual conferences held as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC was established in 1992 to combat climate change. The supreme decision making body of the UNFCCC, the Conference of the Parties (COP), has met annually since 1995 in the COP summits to review progress. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, committing Parties of the UNFCCC to legally binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2015, the Paris Agreement was signed at the COP21, committing countries to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels”. This is the first time that an explicit target to limit global temperature increases has been included in a UNFCCC agreement. It must now be ratified by the Parties to the COP in order to enter fully into force (read more here).

COP22 – 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference (Marrakech, Morocco)

logo COP22As an official observer organization to the UNFCCC, YEL is sending a delegation to attend the COP conference in 2016. The COP22 will be the second UNFCCC COP where Young European Leadership will be represented by a YEL delegation. This year it will take place from November 7-18 in Marrakesh, Morocco. Deadline to apply is September 25..

Read below about the objectives of YEL delegation, delegates responsibilities, funding and logistics, timeline, requirements, and the application.

Objectives of YEL Delegation

The long-term objective of the YEL Delegation to the UNFCCC conferences is to raise an awareness and a deeper understanding of the causes and implications of climate change among current and future young leaders in Europe. Their insights should enable young people as current and future businesspeople, academics, policymakers and private individuals to re-imagine economic models, technologies and consumer behaviours with the aim of minimizing human impact on global climate

In regards to COP22, the most important short-term objectives of the YEL delegates are to be visible and establish YEL as regular attendee to the COP. This includes reaching out to other youth NGOs (YOUNGOs), expanding the network to the parties and other attending observer organizations, but also to produce tangible deliverables that will be suitable for dissemination during and after the COP (articles, blogs, social media content, seminars etc.).

Prior to the conference, the delegates will decide upon individual deliverables of the delegation and distribute tasks and workload among the delegation. Such that every delegate will be responsible for one or more distinctive end products.

Delegates Responsibilities

YEL Delegates have several responsibilities before, during and after the Conference. Before the conference delegates will coordinate their work in regular communication (e.g. bi-weekly skype calls) and distribute tasks and deliverables among themselves. During the conference delegates will communicate via social media as a YEL Delegate, creating summaries of each day’s key developments and writing articles.

After the conference the delegates will use the material generated by the delegation during the conference e.g. interviews, insights, pictures and short video clips to produce a TED-style talk or training that can be presented to multiple audiences. With the YEL team’s support, the delegation will leverage contacts made at the conference and their own networks to dissemination of these materials.

Funding and Logistics

Currently YEL is not in a position to provide funding for travel, accommodation, or per-diems. Delegates are encouraged to seek funding through their own organizations such as universities and think-tanks once they are confirmed as delegates for YEL to the COP.

While the delegates are asked to take care of organizing their own flights the delegation head will take care of renting a shared apartment (e.g. Airbnb) for the duration of the conference. Accommodation costs will be shared by all delegates before the conference.


Time Activity
11.9-25.9.2016 Application period
25.9-30.9.2016 Interviews with candidates
1.10-6.11.2016 Conference preparation
7-18.11.2016 Participation at COP22
19.11-31.12.2016 Post-delegation work

Application Requirements

We are looking for candidates with:

  • Solid knowledge of the climate change debate and its implications from an ecological, economic and policy perspective. Candidates may have a background in academia, public or private sector.
  • Enthusiasm about educating their peers and others about the key issues at stake.
  • Experience with social media and active ongoing presence on social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn…) is an asset.
  • Experience with teaching or training is an asset.
  • Enthusiasm about educating their peers and others about the key issues at stake.
  • Availability: Candidates must also be available to attend the first or second half of the conference, ie 7-12 November or 13-18 November. Delegates will be expected to attend all five days of the conference program and one day on the middle weekend with the delegation.
  • Costs: Please note that YEL asks for a €10 YEL contribution from all candidates who accept an offer to join a YEL delegation. COP 22: €10 via PayPal: click here.

Applications are now closed. All applicants will be informed in due course of the outcomes and potential interviews.

COP21 – 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (Paris, France)

logo COP21The COP21 was held in Paris from November 30 to December 12, 2015. Negotiations resulted in the adoption of the Paris Agreement on December 12, governing climate change reduction measures from 2020. The adoption of this agreement ended the work of the Durban platform, established during the COP17. The agreement will enter into force (and thus become fully effective) only if 55 countries which produce at least 55% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions ratify the Agreement. The COP21 was the first UNFCCC conference which was attended by a YEL delegation.

Young European Leadership attended the COP21 as a member of the Civil Society Observer Organisations. The Conference was a 12-day gathering of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) members, during which YEL delegates had the opportunity to take part in several activities: follow most aspects of the negotiations as observers; participate in side events of other climate stakeholders and organisations (e.g. International Energy Agency); and contribute to the Working Groups of the Youth constituency of the UNFCCC by drafting statements, organising activities, and informal lobbying on behalf of Youth Non-Governmental Organizations.

The delegates also attended the Conference of Youth (COY11). The COY is a 3-day gathering of young people that takes place every year, prior to the Conference of Parties (COP). Its purpose is to allow young leaders to voice their opinions on climate change just before the important climate conferences. During the COYs, young climate activists of any background have the opportunity to share their experiences and projects with other like-minded youth from around the globe, and engage in collaborative activities.