As with every day at COP, the Youth Non-Governmental Organizations (YOUNGO) started off with a meeting to discuss the upcoming events, make decisions, and work on other youth-related activities.
|Some of the youth at the morning YOUNGO meeting|
|Biodiversity is important to solving climate change|
|"I <3 1.5" Ties|
|YOUNGO member with a tie|
Right afterwards, the executive secretary of the UNFCCC held an "Intergenerational Inquiry," where youth and negotiators discussed the role of the youth constituency at the COP. Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, spoke about the importance of youth becoming involved now, so that in the future, when the "hot potato," as she put it, is entirely in the hands of today's youth, it will not come as an unexpected and unfamiliar burden.
|Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary UNFCCC|
The next speaker was a teenage girl from South Africa. She shared a story of how she traveled to the city with her father when she was younger, and loved to see the farm animals along the way. It became her dream to one day show her own kids these animals and see the expressions on their faces when the witnessed the beauty of these creatures. Unfortunately, the stream that provided drinking water to these animals dried up as a result of anthropogenic environmental changes. Her dream was destroyed. She then turned to the negotiators and begged that they develop steps forward that do not crush the dreams and hopes of today's younger generation. This inspiring message finished the day of youth celebration with a feeling of hope for the youth, who are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today.
|Reading a poem to start the Intergenerational Inquiry|
|The girl on the left gave a tremendous speech that moved everyone in the room|
|The use of social media to spread messages from the youth became extremely important at this year's COP. Within minutes, the video of the side event was online and shared with the world.|