Until a few years ago, the term 'Loss and Damage' recalled few and vague general concepts, except in a small bubble of climate science insiders. But then, on a torrid Egyptian night, in a huge conference centre with thousands of international delegates, military personnel, observers, journalists, and other public figures at 3.30 a.m., the final plenary of COP27, which was to become 'the COP of loss and damage' a few hours later, finally got underway. A historic event. You may or may not have heard of it.
The intermediate climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, ended on the evening of June 15th, 2023. For years now we were used to interim negotiations that were quite placid compared to the troubled COPs. In Bonn, far from the international press and the hype that characterizes every COP displaying Heads of State, demonstrations, journalists and helicopters, the delegations of the Countries usually find the time and the relative calm to deepen, reason, understand each other, prepare the next Conference. Now the intermediates seem like COPs, instead.
For some years now, young people have been asking with ever stronger determination for larger and more real inclusion in the negotiation process. During the last few conferences, some progress has been made with specific initiatives dedicated precisely to giving girls and boys more space for dialogue and discussion: from the appointment of the climate champion to the establishment of the international youth delegate programme, from the Milanese edition of Youth4climate, in 2021, up to Youth4Capacity, a series of events and activities to strengthen the role of young people in climate action. But what exactly do these initiatives entail?