Window Into COP23:
Our Multi-Sector Delegation
Climate Generation believes it takes all sectors to address climate change, and all voices must be represented at the decision-making table. We sent a multi-sector delegation of Minnesota leaders to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany from November 6–17. Our eight-member delegation featured representation from education, law, philanthropy, youth, elected officials, and indigenous communities.
The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) brought nations of the world together to continue their work on strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change. In the wake of the Trump administration vowing to pull America out of the Paris Agreement, American cities, states, businesses, and citizens took on U.S. climate leadership; a strong subnational presence at COP23 showed the enduring U.S. commitment to our Paris Agreement pledge.
The U.S. People’s Delegation became the strong voice of America’s perspectives on climate change – this COP marked the first time in history that the U.S. government did not have an official pavilion. While a handful of government representatives attended the negotiations and promoted fossil fuels as a climate solution, private citizens, local elected officials, and environmental advocates spoke out to differentiate themselves. Our delegates attended climate actions, panels, presentations, and high-level negotiations that demonstrated the work left to do on a global scale before the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 in Poland.
However, small steps toward a more just, equitable and clean energy future were made at this COP:
- The first-ever Gender Action Plan was created to increase the participation of women in all UNFCCC processes.
- Italy and the UN for Climate Change agreed to launch a five-year Fellowship Program specifically aimed at increasing sustainable development, young leadership, and creative solutions to climate change in these regions.
- The World Health Organization launched a special initiative to address climate change impacts on health in small island states.
- The InsuResilience Initiative gained more international partners and additional funding with the aim of providing access to insurance for 400 million people most-vulnerable to climate change by 2020.
We’d like to acknowledge and thank our delegates for their hard work and commitment during the negotiations. We’d also like to thank those who followed along each day and engaged with our programming.
Finally, we’d like to thank our funding partners, The McKnight Foundation and Olseth Family Foundation who made our program and delegate stipends possible.
“This experience has 100% energized me to mobilize on the ground and to create the connection between grassroots work and the high-up policy work that isn’t always seen by the public.”
“It has kept fuel in my tank for the hard work of climate action in a tough political environment. I also think the large number of Americans there gave the other delegations hope, too. They were so happy to see us.”
“COP23 gave more of an understanding of damage already being experienced by many people and the impact that is having on populations – and the lack of resources many people have. There is more of an awareness of the impact of legislation. It is motivating me toward more advocacy action.”
COPs and Climate Generation
Climate Generation has a history of sending delegations to COPs, including COP15, COP21, and COP22. This year’s unique focus on state level leadership offered us the chance to demonstrate Minnesota’s commitment on the international stage and bring cutting-edge international climate work back to Minnesota.