SHARJAH, 2nd November, 2023 (WAM) — American University of Sharjah (AUS) is gearing up to co-host the Global Conference of Youth (COY18) on 26-28 November, as the eyes of the world turn to the UAE for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).
COY18, the largest youth conference on UN climate processes, equips young individuals for COP28 participation. It amplifies youth voices in shaping UNFCCC policies, contributing to climate negotiations via an official youth policy paper. COY is the primary assembly for YOUNGO members, the youth constituency of UNFCCC.
The AUS student leadership team co-hosting COY18 comprises Jahnavi Doshi, AUS lead representative in the COY18 Steering Committee and scope lead in media and communications; Jawwad Sheikh, AUS co-lead in the COY18 Steering Committee and scope lead in volunteer management; Aamuktha Samjyaraman, scope lead in programmes, opening and closing ceremonies; Sameera Khan, scope lead in programmes and partners; Mohamed Amaan Siddiqui, scope lead in research and reporting; Manal Nadeem, scope lead in the Global Youth Statement; Tavishi Doshi, working group advisor on finance; Siraj Mecci, working group advisor on logistics and the Global Affairs Unit; and Mahasen Mudallali, working group advisor on delegate relations.
“Co-hosting and participating in COY18 holds great significance as it provides a platform for youth to shape international climate policies and foster inclusivity and diversity in climate action. Active participation in COY18 enables us to voice our concerns, learn from global experts, build meaningful connections, draw inspiration, and empower ourselves to take tangible actions toward addressing climate issues both within our country and on the international stage. We look forward to gaining knowledge, skills and inspiration that will make us more effective advocates for climate action,” said lead AUS representative Doshi.
COY18 participants engage in key activities: crafting a Global Youth Statement for decision-makers, planning actions and campaigns, networking through discussions and meetings, and building capacities via workshops on negotiations, leadership, and advocacy.
“COY18 represents an unique opportunity for AUS students to contribute their voices to the global effort to address climate change. It makes me incredibly proud to see our students, most of them being current or previous EcoReps, take initiative beyond AUS and leave their mark on a global stage. They have taken on an immense workload on top of their studies and I have so much respect for their passion and determination to advance the youth movement on climate action,” said Julia Carlow, Acting Head of AUS Sustainability.
AUS is a member of the Universities Climate Network (UCN), which comprises UAE-based universities and higher education institutions facilitating dialogues, workshops, public events and youth participation in the lead up to COP28. AUS is also a member of the UAE Alliance for Climate Action (UACA), a domestic alliance of stakeholders led by Emirates Nature-WWF.
UACA is the flagship non-state actor programme for the UAE in the lead up to COP28, which aims to increase momentum towards achieving net zero targets in line with science and the Paris Agreement. With the goal to reduce carbon emissions, AUS has developed its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan, which further aligns the university’s sustainability efforts with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic plan.