What Happened at COP 23?

Overview

COP23, the 23rd Conference of Parties, is this year’s installment of global climate change negotiations hosted by Fiji in Bonn, Germany. Countries from all over the world sent delegations to Germany where, over the course of two weeks, countries took part in important global discussions. One of the aims of COP23 was to develop a way to implement the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius. This included debating ways for countries to measure and report their reductions in emissions and discussing how climate financing should be counted. In addition to government representatives, some countries also sent youth delegations to the conference to allow youth to witness climate negotiations and encourage their engagement in climate change dialogue.

Key Objectives – Why go to COP 23?

Canada, as a nation, has been an important player in global climate action. Recently at COP23 it pushed for a Gender Action Plan and an Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Platform, which would facilitate contributions from groups who are most harshly impacted by climate change. While national plans are very important, if we do not translate them into local action then they are quite inefficient and ineffective. Currently, Canada is not on track to meet its 2030 emission and climate targets. In order to shift this trajectory and reach our targets, the federal government needs to actively involve and collaborate at the sub-national level with provincial governments and their local jurisdictions to really move to action.

British Columbia is a prime example of a climate change actor that has the potential to take on a leadership role and help Canada to achieve its 2030 targets. Currently, BC is a leader in Canada on carbon tax and by increasing its carbon tax by $5 each year until 2020 it has the potential to make a true difference in emissions. In order for Canada to get on track, it is imperative that the federal government collaborate with its provinces and support them; teamwork is crucial. The federal and provincial governments need to communicate more clearly with each other in order to finally put plans into action.

BCCIC Youth Delegation to COP 23

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today. It will take everyone and collective, collaborative action like never before to make the necessary progress we have agreed to and at BCCIC we feel strongly that this means the meaningful inclusion of youth.

In 2015, the world came together to create the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change and sustainable development in order to move our species forward into a future that betters the livelihoods for current and future generations while preserving and restoring our planet. Acknowledging the urgent need for pressing action, this global plan emphasizes the need to ‘leave no one behind’ – including the generations set to inherit and lives through the adverse effects of climate change.

Read more about BCCIC Youth Delegation

 

Outcomes and Highlights

BCCIC’s Youth Delegation hosted two press conferences over the course of the two weeks COP 23 was in session.

Press Conference Week 1:

 

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Press Conference Week 2:

During the second week of COP 23, the BCCIC Youth Delegation called for greater accountability from the government, for Canada to increase its pledge to climate action under the Paris Agreement, and for the government to include youth voices meaningfully in the decision-making process.

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CBC Early Edition Interview with Youth Delegate Keila Stark

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