Megan Stillwell who came on our 2020 programme and was part of MOCK COP26 – a youth climate change conference – has written us this blog.

What do you do when the official UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is postponed?

If you are committed to taking action against climate change, you create your own event, and that’s exactly what a group of youth activists did. They created the Mock COP26 a virtual summit to discuss issues around climate justice; education; health and mental health; green jobs; and carbon reduction targets.

Inspired by this eight young women from Catalyse Change applied to host an official fringe event to support the Mock COP26. Their event, Our climate vision: From experience to action, aimed to amplify the voices of others, raise awareness about climate justice, and understand how people were experiencing climate change and how these experiences differed.

To inspire action, this recipe shares 5 essential ingredients for young people and youth groups that want to create or encourage similar climate events.

5 Essential Ingredients:

Eight committed youth activists

Firstly, it is vital to have a group of environmentalists who are driven to create positive environmental change. Look to local organisations, or youth clubs, like Catalyse Change, a social enterprise that supports young women, ‘Catalysts’, to develop sustainability skills and knowledge.

A strong vision of a greener and fairer future

When designing a climate conference, it is important to know the environmental issue you want to address. Look at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration. The Catalysts’ main objective was to use the event to amplify the voices of others.

A dash of background research

A bit of research will help you to understand the environmental issue that you’d like to discuss. The Catalysts put together a survey to collect data about people’s experiences of the climate crisis. The results of the survey were shared during the event.

One slow Sunday afternoon

Next, choose an appropriate time to host your event. To maximise engagement and encourage open discussion, the Catalysts hosted the event on a Sunday afternoon, when most people would have spare time.

An engaging call to action

Finally, extend the reach of your event using an engaging call to action (CTA), such as an invitation to sign a petition or to share content from the event. The Catalysts’ CTA encouraged people to create a postcard that captured their vision of a greener and fairer future.

After gathering these 5 essential ingredients, you will be on your way to creating a successful Mock COP26 fringe event. Best of luck!

For more inspiration, take a look at the process behind the Catalysts’ official Mock COP26 fringe event.