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Global Youth Issued Statement ahead of the Closing of COP28

December 11th, 2023, Dubai, UAE — The Global Youth Ambassadors of the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) issued a statement today at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), urging global leaders to unite and deliver actions for a prosperous, net-zero, and resilient future.


“Youth are the backbone of the net-zero future," said Prof. LI Zheng, the GAUC Secretary-General. To facilitate their transformation from learners of climate knowledge to implementers of climate action, GAUC launched the ‘Climate x’ Campaign. We are proud to see their growth and achievements through the Campaign and would like to continuously work with global multi-stakeholders to prepare them for their historical role as the future leaders in tackling the climate change challenge.”


The statement marks the culmination of the journey for the GAUC COP28 Youth Delegation, the flagship project of the ‘Climate x’ Campaign at the international level. Since the beginning of COP28, the GAUC delegation, comprised of 22 delegates from 10 countries, has hosted a GAUC Pavilion in the COP28 Blue Zone, led a GAUC Day in the Blue Zone on December 3rd, organized and spoke on over 100 side-events, and actively engaged in approximately 500 negotiations, side events, and external partnerships. 

Alice HO, the GAUC Chief Youth Officer and leader of the GAUC delegation, stated, “With unwavering support from global partners, we are honored to have witnessed and contributed to the global climate governance process. We look forward to a successful closure of COP28 and are well-positioned for more youth-led cooperation and collaborative actions towards a net-zero future”


The ‘Climate x’ Campaign also features a ‘Climate x’ Leadership Training Program, where emerging leaders of the youth delegation have been selected and certified as the 2nd cohort of GAUC Global Youth Ambassadors. Launched in June, the training program has enrolled approximately 1000 students from nearly 400 universities in 78 countries and regions, with over 80% hailing from the Global South. Experts from the member universities of GAUC and its partners have presented around 50 online lectures and workshops.

To convey the climate actions of the younger generation and contribute to a successful COP28, the students are required to hold three events in their local communities, with the third one being organized during the Global Youth Climate Week. Proposed by GAUC to UNFCCC in February, 2022, this international mechanism is scheduled one week prior to each COP. By the opening of COP28, 300 student-led events had been organized, engaging nearly 30,000 people worldwide." 

“The training program broadened our knowledge regarding climate change, especially from a synergistic perspective,” said Rounok Jahan Khan, a young delegate from Bangladesh. “Such insights have bestowed upon me a deeper engagement at COP28. Our collective journey towards sustainability is not just a story; it's an unfolding epic.” 

In addition to the students of the training program, GAUC has also invited members of its 2022 Global Youth Ambassadors to join as Youth Mentors in the delegation. “Our COP28 Youth Delegation has a diverse focus on climate issues, such as critical negotiations on the Global Stocktake, the Global Goal on Adaptation, loss and damage, methane and non-CO2 greenhouse gases, and long-term climate finance,” said BAO Rong, a Youth Mentor in the delegation and a graduate of Yale University."  

XIE Zongxu, a youth mentor in the delegation and a Ph.D. candidate from Tsinghua University, emphasized the importance of global collaboration in addressing climate change. "As a youth mentor to the delegation, I am inspired by the passion and dedication of the emerging leaders in the team. Together, we are working towards shared goals of achieving a net-zero future and building resilience against climate impacts. The diversity of perspectives and expertise within our delegation allows us to contribute to a holistic and comprehensive approach to climate action.”

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