SEVEN members of the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) are attending the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.
The conference, which is convening until Nov 17, is attended by delegates from 197 United Nations member countries.
The Malaysian youth delegates are Muhammad Azamuddeen Mohammad Nasir, 20, Ooi Xiandi, 21, Sheikh Muhammad Syaqil Suhaimi, 22, Lhavanya Dharmalingam, 23, Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham, 23, Thomas Lai Yoke Hwa, 25, and Michael Campton, 27.
They began preparing for the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) earlier this year, beginning with an initiation retreat in March.
Since then, the delegates have organised training sessions with speakers well-versed on climate change issues and policy in Malaysia, including Chee Yoke Ling from Third World Network and Lavanya Rama Iyer from WWF.
In total, there were seven sessions held in the training series, with the aim of both building capacity of the youth delegates as well as informing the public on climate change issues in Malaysia and at the United Nations.
Syaqil, who is attending his first COP, said he was excited about the prospect of being part of the largest Malaysian youth delegation thus far.
“It is great to know that the Malaysian youth delegation has grown since its inception in 2015.
“It is a reflection that, slowly but surely, more Malaysian youths are aware of the threats posed by climate change and that we believe we can make a difference,” said Syaqil.
Jasmin, who attended COP22 in Marrakesh, said she was looking forward to learning more about the climate negotiations at COP23, “especially in the area pertaining to the Facilitative Dialogue and Global Stocktake.”
Over the next two weeks, the youth delegates will be attending plenaries, coordination meetings, side events, working groups and other sessions as the negotiations progress from last year’s COP22 in Morocco and the year before COP21 in France where the Paris Agreement was formally adopted.
In addition to holding capacity building sessions for the public, the Malaysian Youth Delegation programme was also focused on tracking negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, deciphering them and reporting back to Malaysia via http://powershiftmalaysia.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter at @PowerShiftMsia.
At this year’s COP, one major focus point surrounds the need for countries to ramp up their ambitions on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in reference to their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Based on the current NDCs submitted by countries in 2015, the global average temperature increase is likely to hit 3°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, well above the 2°C limit set in the Paris Agreement.
The team also had the unique experience of hosting the first ever Youth Forum on Climate Change at the Malaysia Pavilion yesterday.
All of these activities, events, meetings, tracking of negotiations and reporting will culminate in a post-COP forum that will be held back in Malaysia to debrief and inform the public on the developments at COP.
To follow the Malaysian Youth Delegation team at COP23 in Bonn, visit http://powershiftmalaysia.org.my or follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.