What is COP?
COP (Conference of Parties) is a series of United Nations climate change conferences, which have been running since 1995 to review the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty which acknowledges the existence of anthropogenic climate change and provides the framework for climate change negotiations. COP meetings primarily revolve around negotiations and debates with the overarching goal of limiting climate change.
In the past, climate conferences have not been as smooth sailing as people wished it to be, starting from the rules and sponsors favoured by the hosting country. And faith in these conferences has been steadily crumbling. This year’s COP, taking place from November 30th to December 12th, has been considered to be even more controversial. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been selected as hosting country for COP28, and Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, the CEO of an oil company called Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), will be the conference’s president. Not everybody thinks it is right for someone who leads an oil company to also be in charge of a conference about climate change. Fossil fuel companies are often seen as the main contributors to climate change, and there may be a conflict of interest.
Another contradiction lies in the fact that the country plans to expand its oil and gas production capacity with a $150 billion investment while also committing to reaching net-zero carbon emissions. As a result, civil society is worried that the UAE’s oil and gas interest may affect the conference’s agenda hindering progress on necessary climate actions and not achieve the needed change. How can someone leading an oil company lead a climate change conference?
November 25th: Action day!
SFYN is developing a new campaign called #FlashCOP which is planned to be held on the 25th of November, in the run-up to COP28. We invite everyone from all over the world to participate and use this moment to come together, reflect on the urgency to take responsibility to tackle the climate crisis, bring COP closer to home and change our own circle of influence. SFYN’s campaign is not here just to educate youth, but to empower and inspire individuals in the collective battle against the climate crisis, highlighting the role of our food system as a solution.
By mobilising and training youth to make the wider audience aware of the solutions and opportunities in this battle, we want to give youth globally the space and tools to change their climate related habits, but above all get politically engaged around the local climate agenda. We are sending a message to (local) decision makers: civil society is stepping up, and you should too.
We will set climate tables right in front of iconic landmarks in major cities and rural areas around the world to bridge the gap and bring the essence of COP closer to home. The aim of #FlashCOP is to be visible in the streets, raising awareness and igniting accessible conversations about the climate crisis. These climate tables, envisioned as interactive spaces, whether they be desks, benches, or booths, will serve as hubs for engagement. We will connect with passers-by, educate them on the climate crisis and its impact on our food system, and actively engage them in efforts to combat it.
But these conversations will go beyond raising awareness as they will also hold a political significance. We want to invite the public to make climate commitments and inspire them to advocate for best practices and climate demands to local governments and municipalities, thereby holding policy makers accountable for their role in this crucial battle.
To empower participants and have informed and effective conversations during FlashCOP, SFYN will host a series of webinars starting in October. These will cover various aspects from the climate crisis to public speaking and political engagement. Our expert hosts will provide participants with the necessary knowledge and tools needed.
Here’s the schedule for the webinars (details regarding timing and Zoom link will be coming soon; dates are subject to change)
Understanding COP: How These Conferences Work and What to Expect This Year : an in depth Q&A on the UN COP conferences and its development over the years
11 October| Shane Holland, chairman of Slow Food in the UK, Slow Food climate advocate
Climate Crisis’ social and ecological impact on the Food System : a lecture on how the food system can be a solution to the climate crisis together with a discussion on the social impact of climate change
18 October | Gabriele Volpato, professor University of Gastronomic Sciences – Starting at 17.30
Voices from Climate Crisis Victims : an open dialogue with peers directly impacted by climate related damages, especially in the global south
26 October | youth from our network : Bashir from Uganda; Carson from Kenya; Agnese from Italy- Starting at 17.30
How to Have a Conversation on the Climate Crisis : a workshop on how to have effective climate conversations, based on building trust rather than having an argument
2 November | Tyler Short , La Via Campesina (USA) – Starting at 17.30 (CEST)
Pitch Training: How to Engage, Discuss, Debate : a training on understanding engagement among audiences and having impactful dialogues
9 November | Linda Vermaat, director at InnoFest – Starting at 17.30 (CEST)
How to Advocate for Climate Demands to Policymakers : a dialogue on best practices and recommendations for local governments to enhance the implementation of climate commitments
16 November| Nicole Pita, IPES Food – Starting at 17.30 (CEST)
Final Tips | 23 November
If you believe, like us, that it’s time to act, join #FlashCOP! Fill out the form and be part of the movement. Together, we can make a difference and demand the climate action our world needs.