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Children’s Climate Forum

Who:  
160 children, between 14 and 17 years of age, from 44 developing and industrialized countries around the world.

When:  
November 28 – December 4, 2009.

Where:  
Copenhagen City Hall, Copenhagen. 

What:  
The official Children’s Climate Forum is organized by UNICEF and the City of Copenhagen. It takes place in the week leading up to the intergovernmental negotiations on climate change (COP15) in December in Copenhagen. All the children’s delegations have prepared for the forum by taking part in local-level fact-gathering, workshops and/or negotiations with regards to climate change. During the forum, the child delegates will engage in skill-building sessions, a negotiating session and draft a declaration that will be presented to the President of the COP15 at the Forum closing session. Forum delegates will learn and discuss how they can engage as young “climate ambassadors” at local and national levels when they return to their respective countries. A small group of the delegates will also participate in the first week of COP15 to engage with negotiators.

Why:  
The purpose of the Children’s Climate Forum is to give children from both developing and industrialized countries a voice in the global climate change debate and a chance to influence the important agreement to be decided at COP15. It’s unique that children from both industrialized and “at-risk” countries meet face-to-face to discuss impact of climate change on children, and how children can take part in both local and global efforts to adapt to, and fight climate change.

Media opportunities: 
In order to respect children’s right to express themselves with confidence, the children’s sessions at the forum will be closed to media. There will, however, be some opportunities for media to interact with the children during the week. Highlights that are open to the media include:

  • Nov. 28: Opening session at 13:00 (Geneva time). Official opening event including a visual happening, followed by “Climate Speed Dating”: Children from 44 countries have prepared their own climate change stalls, to be visited by delegations from other countries, to promote interaction and knowledge sharing between delegations. Students from Copenhagen host schools will participate. 
  • Dec. 2: Climate Field Trip. Follow the delegations on visits to different climate locations in Copenhagen. Along with a Danish host school class, every delegation will participate in workshops throughout the city discussing climate themes. Examples: Biodiversity at the Zoological Garden, Ice core research at the Centre for Ice and Climate, and Renewable Energies at The Energy- & Water Science Center.
  • Dec. 4: Closing session at 15:00 (Geneva time). At the closing session, the children will present their final resolution to the President of COP15. All the children will perform the anthem of the Children’s Climate Forum, “It’s My World” as one big world choir.
  • All week: Children’s exhibition in the grand exhibition forum at Copenhagen City Hall.


Before and after the forum, media can report on individual delegations in their home countries. The delegates have already been chosen, and they are preparing for the Forum. They are researching climate change and its consequences in their home countries, and discussing climate solutions with young people from the whole world at www.uniteforclimate.org

During the forum, communication materials including photos, video, and stories, will be made available to UNICEF national committees and field offices through Panorama on the UNICEF intranet.

Youth journalists from the Copenhagen-based junior college Oerestad Gymnasium will report from the forum on a daily basis on www.uniteforclimate.org, featuring web articles, video, photos, and two daily live webcasts. Language: English.  

Children from the following countries will participate:
Andorra, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Haiti, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Kiribati, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Malawi, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam and Zambia.

Background:
The children of today will bear the consequences of climate change, thanks to the unfortunate legacy of their elders. Yet children and young people are also well placed to contribute to the fight even now. They are more adaptable to new coping strategies in at-risk countries, and they can quickly make low-carbon lifestyles and career choices a part of their daily lives in the industrialized world. Children should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national, and global levels. And they can actively support initiatives that will lead the passage of far-reaching legislation. As stated in article 12 in the Child Rights’ Convention, every child has the right to express itself and be heard on issues of importance to the child. In a world affected by climate change, UNICEF is dedicated to giving children an opportunity to speak out. As host city of the COP15, the City of Copenhagen is actively supporting the initiative to involve children in the global climate debate.
  
For further information: Please visit: www.childrensclimateforum.org

Contact information:
Karin Aaen, UNICEF Denmark, Tel + 45 2539 6099,
E-mail: kaaen@unicef.dk

Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York, Tel:  + 1 212 326 7452
E-mail: kdonovan@unicef.org

Uffe Lembo, City of Copenhagen, Tel + 45 2811 1929,
E-mail: uffe.lembo@buf.kk.dk


 

 

 

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