On 8 October, Turkmen youth convened for the first ever Local Conference of Youth on Climate Change in a hybrid event organised by the British Embassy in Ashgabat, the United Nations, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
This conference, in the run up to the sixteenth session of the UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY16) taking place 28 to 31 October in Glasgow, brought together young people from educational institutions across Turkmenistan.
Together, they discussed and brainstormed the challenges, and responses posed by climate change. They shared experience, knowledge, and ideas to combat global climate change, discussing the key climate change issues that affect Turkmenistan and how to solve them.
As a result, young Turkmen leaders developed and adopted the Final Summary of Youth Initiatives in Turkmenistan, which will be included in the Global Youth Statement at COY16 and presented to world leaders at COP26 this November, as well as a Roadmap for Creative Climate Change Solutions that will implemented within the next year. It is expected that from now on the Youth Conference on Climate Change will be organised and conducted by Turkmen youth on an annual basis.
Senior UK and UN figures such as Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Nick Bridge, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, and David Moran, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Europe, Central Asia, Turkey and Iran also joined the conference to support Turkmen youth.
The conference was one of a number of COP26-related events that the British Embassy in Ashgabat has organised jointly with international partners such as the United Nations and the Government of Turkmenistan.
Stressing the importance of the youth conference, Acting Deputy Head of Mission Mr Peter Dalby noted in his opening remarks:
We are now just less than a month away from these two major, international climate events. Now more than ever, young people and young voices are a vital part of the global conversation around climate change.
The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties has recognised and endorsed COY16 as the official youth constituency of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. COY16 gathers the voices of global youth to develop an official youth statement for the UN climate negotiations.
It also serves as a space for capacity building and policy training to prepare young people for their participation at COP26 and influencing international policy