Nov 6, 2022. The 27th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27) starts in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. We have 6 years and 257 days left to limit Global Warming to 1.5°C. Time is running out.
Did you know that GainForest’s origins can be traced back to COP23’s Hack4Climate? Back then we won the first prize for the idea and initial prototype of GainForest. That was five years ago – ever since then we have attended and spoken up at each COP. While there are different reasons for attending the Climate Conference, our mission at GainForest is to advocate the importance of empowering climate justice and the Global South at COP – and beyond.
Announcing the GainForest Climate Action Fund
The fossil fuel industry and financially wealthy nations send large delegations to COP each year. Wealthy ministries and corporations set aside significant budgets for active representation at the conference. This year alone an estimated 600 delegates were associated with the fossil fuel industry. Meanwhile, the few delegates and youth from the Global South can’t even pay for the insanely expensive flights ($10K if you book now from South America) or overpriced accommodation (>$1K per night) and often have to sleep at the conference center. This often has direct consequences on the negotiations, putting poorer countries at a disadvantage.
GainForest is proud to announce the first round of our climate policy and action fund, which is dedicated to enhancing the participation rate of delegates from the Global South. In 2022, we sponsored the flights and accommodation of two climate negotiators from Paraguay to attend specialized negotiation training (provided by Youth Negotiator Academy) and COP27. They rocked this year's conference.
Besides sponsoring two negotiators directly, our team provided policy support and had bilateral meetings with countries such as Tajikistan, Paraguay, South Africa, Ruanda, Saudi Arabia, France, the Philippines, and Bhutan - to discuss the importance of real-time monitoring and the role of community-centered technologies.
Supporting the Global South and its position in negotiations has a crucial impact on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We are proud to see that this COP has finally agreed on a Loss and Damages fund that will dedicate financial support from the Global North to the Global South with respect to damages caused by climate change.
Children and Youth Pavilion at COP27
Another first this year was the Children and Youth Pavilion: This was an entire area of almost 100 sqm at the conference center dedicated to topics and concerns of the next generation. Taking into account that the Global South covers about 90% of the total world youth population, this pavilion recognized the role of children and youth as agents of change in addressing and responding to climate change. A well-installed climate clock underlined the urgency and real-time hand-drawn art installations on its walls symbolized the process of active co-creation. The Children and Youth Pavilion set a milestone to continue to appoint youth envoys and to promote the full, meaningful, and equal participation of children and youth. We were proud to be invited to participate and speak about Youth Tech-Led Initiatives and Ecopreneurship at the Children and Youth Pavilion and wish to see its continuation at the upcoming COPs.
GainForest speaking at COP27
Below you can find a list of all seven side events that GainForest has co-organized or been invited to speak at during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt:
8th Nov 2022: Youth-CEO dialogue at World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
Simge discussed with the CEO of IKEA important next steps for sustainability
10th Nov 2022: UN Innovation Hub
David co-organized Filling in the gaps: Open data and artificial intelligence for equitable climate action together with ClimateTRACE and Climate Change AI
11th Nov 2022: Children and Youth Pavilion
David spoke at Youth Tech-Led Initiatives together with her Excellency the Princess of Burkina Faso
12th Nov 2022: CultureCOP
David spoke at CultureCOP on intersections of Indigenous Wisdom and Artificial Intelligence
12th Nov 2022: UN Innovation Hub
David joined Filecoin Green's panel on Using Web3 to build a global carbon ledger
14th Nov 2022: Children and Youth Pavilion
David held a workshop on Ecopreneurship organized by WEF's 1t.org
15th Nov 2022: Tajikistan side event
Yumna spoke at Leveraging NDCs to achieve net-zero emissions