Last Saturday, November 20, 2021, the debate , “Youth and the COP” was held on the participation of young Poles at the COP26 climate summit, which took place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, 2021.

The discussion was attended by representatives of the young generation who participated in COP26, representing our country:

Sylwia Łyskawka – chairwoman of the Youth Climate Council, members of the National Development Council pada for Youth Affairs to the President of the Republic of Poland;

Tamara Bak – a youth activist from Namyslow, a first-year law student, serving as Chairwoman of the Promotion Committee and Chairwoman of the Diplomatic Committee in the Youth Ecological Council;

Jakub Seredyński – a fourth-year student of Power Engineering at the MeiL Faculty of Warsaw University of Technology, a member of the Power Engineering Scientific Circle, involved in many projects on sustainable development and the role of new technologies in combating the climate crisis.

Participants in the debate explained what the process of selecting members of our country’s delegation looked like. They shared their impressions of participating in the event, as well as told us what they did during the summit and whether their expectations were met. During the discussion, the issue of greenwashing was also raised, and the need to take measures to increase public awareness of the importance of climate change risk issues was emphasized.

In assessing the agreement, the participants pointed out that despite the adoption of many provisions beneficial to the planet, such as the protection of forests, or the provision of financial assistance to developing countries to combat the effects of rising temperatures from the richest countries, the commitments made in Glasgow are not enough to stop the increase in average temperature within 1.5 degrees Celsius. As Sylwia Lyskawka stressed:

– The talks have been postponed to next year, to the next summit in Egypt, which shows that since we couldn’t agree this year, the question is whether we will even reach an agreement next year, and does such postponement make sense? Unfortunately, time is running out for us, so for the time being, if we don’t make any changes, better than those defined at the climate summit, the planet will probably warm by about 2.4 – 2.7 degrees Celsius.

Participants in the discussion also paid a lot of attention to environmental education, including climate education as well as popularization of ecological living conditions. Responding to these issues, Tamara Bak, as a representative of the Promotion Committee of the Youth Ecological Council, stressed how crucial it is to promote ecology and the importance of climate peaks on everyone’s lives. – We are trying to bring young people closer to what the COP is, what climate change is. What is ecology and what is climate, but also through the COP we wanted to pass on our experience to young people from Poland,” she noted.

– Sylwia and I made a survey for people from all over the world during the COP, with questions mainly about climate education. We will promote this project as a climate youth dialogue,” Tamara added.

As Jakub Seredyński stressed – In Poland we still have a very big lesson to learn in relation to Western countries in the context of environmental, climate awareness among both young and old people.

Representatives present during the discussion also shared their observations and recommendations for further action to combat climate change as well as to shape public awareness of the consequences of climate change. At the end, each participant presented his message to the youth, encouraging them to act together to protect the environment.

– The most important thing is to become aware of myself, what climate change is all about, what I can do for the climate, as well as changing our daily lives. Not all of us need to take part in strikes, talk to politicians, but each of us can do something every day for the planet

– Sylwia Łyskawka said in conclusion.

The debate was organized by the Foundation Institute for the Development of Legal Education and Civil Society. The event was moderated by the reliable Piotr Drzewiecki.

If you could not attend the debate – nothing lost. The event was broadcast and you can still watch it by clicking on the link below: