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Building Youth Climate Leadership
Start date: Oct 1, 2014, End date: Feb 1, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Building Youth Climate Leadership (BYCL) will bring together 50 young people from across Europe to Brussels in December 2014 while the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations take place in Lima, Peru. The event will engage young people in awareness, analysis, action and reflection on the challenge of climate change, climate justice and energy, while also building the capacity of participants to take an active role in local, national and European organisations working on these topics. BYCL builds on the success of previous events in Brussels in 2010, 2011 and 2012. These events developed the capacity of young people across Europe to engage with climate change debates and culminated in wide youth participation of young people from our network at the UN climate Conference in Warsaw, December 2013. Other projects which are outcomes of capacity building during previous ‘in Brussels’ events include Push Europe and Climate Spring. Climate change is now widely acknowledged to be the greatest threat to human rights, social justice and the earth’s eco-systems of the 21st century. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s assessment report (2014) highlights that governments are largely unprepared for the dramatic impact climate change will have on public policy, including food and water provision, public health and infrastructure. Young people and future generations, from the Global South and the Global North, will be the ones faced with these serious challenges if governments continue their inaction today. This issue of intergenerational equity is at the core of climate justice, YFoEE’s work and the BYCL. As part of a strategic process towards engagement at the UN climate conference in Paris 2015, BYCL addresses the challenge of a lack of participation in international climate policy processes as highlighted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat by supporting young people to engage effectively with national, European and global climate policy making. BYCL uses non-formal global education methodologies to engage young people in a process of awareness, analysis, action and reflection on the challenges of climate change. Learning by doing will be supported through the use of a variety of educational and facilitation tools including paired and small group work, games, debates, short films, inputs from guest speakers and project work. The event will follow the process of the UN climate conference in Lima, Peru through daily live link-ups with youth delegates at the conference. This ‘real time’ engagement with the climate change issues, policies and debates offers an unrivaled opportunity for participants to develop key skills of analysis which will be built on by participants taking action together for climate justice. As BYCL forms part of a wider process of engagement with climate policy towards Paris 2015, participants will also be supported to plan and develop actions in their countries following BYCL itself. YFoEE will continue to take supporting and coordinating role in these post-event processes. The event will involve young people aged 16-30 from our 12 partner countries, all of whom are engaged in youth climate activism in Europe, including those who are members of the YFoEE network and others in the wider European Youth Climate Movement.

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