Cancùn here we come!

As you read this newsletter, youth from across the globe are converging in Cancùn for the Conference of Youth and their upcoming roles as youth delegates and observers at COP16 next week. Your Canadian Youth Delegates are travelling from Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon, Lethbridge, Victoria, Whitehorse and Yellowknife in planes, trains and automobiles – and even by bike! – to engage with policymakers, address international audiences and the media, reach out to global civil society, and bring our stories, along with the critical issues at play, to audiences back home.

We’ve been planning and preparing for months, and engaged in the issues even longer. Our Policy Team has been sifting through the accords, agreements, resolutions and protocols to guide our policy stance and inform our interactions and interventions during the negotiations. Our Actions Team has hosted actions training and has been planning continued engagement with Canadians throughout the UNFCCC conference through thoughtful actions. Our Capacity Engagement Team has been working to create a CYD booth for COP, host training sessions at the Conference of Youth, and partner in coordinating parallel assemblies for civil society engagement around the issues of climate justice. Our Messaging Team has delved into the issues and coordinated with our climate action partners to better communicate the issues at stake. And our Communications Team has been working hard every week to bring you these Cancùn Countdown updates, while also preparing to broadcast back to Canada throughout COP16 the realities of the negotiations and civil society’s response and actions for climate justice.

And though they are not joining us physically, we’ll never be far from our fabulous Home Team. This group of dedicated and creative youth will be working closely with the Cancùn Team to engage people in communities back home during the negotiations. They will be helping to organize People’s Assemblies on Climate Justice in Canada, in partnership with the Council of Canadians, the Indigenous Environmental Network, KAIROS and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. These assemblies are part of a worldwide movement to gather people who will transform awareness into action through climate justice actions in their communities.

In the aftermath of the Senate’s defeat of the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311) without any debate in the Upper House, we’re frustrated with this disrespect of democracy, and sensitive to the fact that Canada is now heading to Cancùn without any federal climate legislation. This disappointing situation only heightens our resolve to have youth voices be heard at the UNFCCC negotiations and across the country. CYD will be reminding our leaders that youth will inherit the world they impact through their decisions, and so should you!

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