Citizenship Lab Research Project: “Youth-Led Climate Action: An In-Depth Analysis of Youth Engagement in UNFCCC Processes – COP as an Example”

The Humanities Research Center’s Citizenship Lab proudly funds Manal Bidar’s Signature Work project.

Student: Manal Bidar

Mentor: Professor Coraline Goron, Ph.D.

In the face of a rapidly changing climate landscape, the role of youth-led climate action within global governance frameworks is more crucial than ever. This research project, titled “Youth-Led Climate Action: An In-Depth Analysis of Youth Engagement in UNFCCC Processes – COP as an Example,” endeavours to comprehensively explore the dynamics, challenges, and potentials of youth engagement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes, with a primary focus on the Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings. With the principal aim of understanding the pivotal role of youth in shaping climate policy at the global level, this research embarks on a multifaceted journey. It delves into the lived experiences of young climate activists, investigating the hurdles they face and the innovative strategies they employ to influence and drive change. 

As an experienced climate activist with a seven-year journey spanning grassroots mobilization to influential roles within UN environmental processes, I was driven to undertake this research due to a conspicuous gap in comprehensive documentation and analysis of youth involvement in these critical forums. My advocacy and communication work as the official youth constituency of the UNFCCC has provided me unique insights, culminating in my attendance at COP27 in Egypt in 2022. Witnessing the intricate dynamics and challenges young climate activists face in engaging with UNFCCC processes has fueled my commitment to this research. The absence of comprehensive resources and research papers documenting the participation of non-state actors, specifically youth, within the intricate machinery of UN climate governance adds further urgency to this endeavor. This research seeks to address this critical gap by providing a nuanced understanding of youth engagement within UNFCCC processes, empowering young activists, and contributing to the global response to the climate crisis.