With youth as a focus, young people around the world are looking for more participation and opportunities in the global decision-making process. Youth advocates must now step up and take the opportunity to build something positive from the challenges they are facing. Youth ambassadors and peer ambassadors, also known as Neighbourhood Forum Fellows, have been appointed to support the COP negotiations this year.
These ambassadors were selected from approximately 15,000 young people nationwide to bring much-needed energy and civic engagement to the COP process. They have organized discussions, led campaigns, and developed lobbying campaigns to have their voices heard at the Lima summit. They will support their fellow fellows and expose them to best practices from around the world and the power of grassroots and community based activism.
It is essential that COP26 becomes an opportunity for leadership and policy making rather than simply a tool of power politics and a rallying point for press coverage. As the Youth Ambassadors and Peer Ambassadors address pressing issues, like the need for youth representation and sustainability, they should remain active and find new ways to connect to the power of peer ambassadors working in the countries of their peers.