Climate Voices

November 16, 2017
By: Climate Generation

Your Window into COP23 Day 11: November 16

Watch Melissa Hortman’s webinar from yesterday on the power of Minnesotans at COP23 and the power to make a difference at home.

Today is Education Day at COP23, and our delegates have the opportunity to participate in a number of sessions focused on education’s role in achieving climate action. Education is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as essential to addressing climate change. This is seen in Article 6 of the Convention, now known as Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement which reads:

Parties shall cooperate in taking measures, as appropriate, to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, recognizing the importance of these steps with respect to enhancing actions under this Agreement. 

Last year, one member of our Window into Marrakech: COP22 delegation, Johanna Bowzua, worked with the YOUNGO constituency to analyze the inclusion of education and youth in the Parties’ NDCs. What they found shows that although education is highlighted as key to action by the UNFCCC, the reality of its inclusion in climate action plans is fairly stark. In her blog, Bowzua shared the results, writing:

Countries consistently failed to incorporate any language on ACE in their NDCs. Only 63 countries of the 196 that are party to the UNFCCC had any mention of education. Developed countries, such as those within the EU, the U.S., and Canada included no mention whatsoever. Interestingly, we found the strongest language and most concrete plans for ACE among African countries and Small Island Developing States.

As our multi-sector delegation illustrates, we believe all sectors are integral to moving forward on mitigating, adapting, and innovating solutions to climate change. But, education is integral. Education builds public will for action, inspires youth to enter green careers, develops problem solving and innovation skills, and trains a workforce focused on clean energy technologies.

Based on the YOUNGO analysis and discussions with delegations last year, there are five recommendations for moving forward on ACE. These recommendations are relevant as we look to COP, and in any local level action plan development:

  • to use education as an envoy for change;
  • to develop a platform for ACE focal points in the countries’ delegations;
  • to have transparency on ACE plans and implementation for each country;
  • to increase funding and networking opportunities;
  • to enhance the opportunities for young people to participate in the negotiations.

We also look forward to hearing from Aurora Conley in her webcast at 12 p.m. CST as she discusses her experience connecting with Indigenous communities from around the world and and the continuous fight to have their voices heard.

Climate Generation Delegation Blogs


Aurora “Gizhigookwe-Sky Woman” Conley

Indigenous Women’s Day




Guest Blog: Craig Johnson

Tides and Waves


You can also check out student blogs from youth delegates representing the School of Environmental Studies students at COP23.


Mark your calendar for the COP23 webcasts at 12 p.m. CST throughout the experience!

November 16: Click here to join Aurora’s webinar as she discusses the role of Indigenous leaders and her climate action experience in Bonn.

Past Webcasts

November 8: Watch Espoir, Ian, and Cheryl discuss the first few days in Bonn and how it feels to be an American at the conference.

November 9: Watch Ellen Anderson and Leigh Currie discuss American presence at COP23 and what they plan to do once they return to Minnesota.

November 14:  Watch the CLEAN (Climate Literacy) Network webinar featuring education professional, John Olson and Adri, a junior high school student.

November 15: Watch Minority Leader Melissa Hortman’s webinar on the presence of local U.S. government and leadership in Bonn.

Save the Date

Don’t miss our post-COP23 panel on November 27th, 12 to 1 p.m. CST, featuring representation from Governor Dayton’s office and our Minnesota delegates as they reflect on the Bonn Climate Talks. Attend in person or tune in digitally through our live webcast.

Follow Us

Check out our Twitter and Instagram for even more footage from our COP23 delegation. Follow @ClimateGenOrg and hashtags #MNCOP23, #USPeoplesDelegation, and #ActOnClimate

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