The Bjerknes Centre is a collaboration on climate research, between the University of Bergen, NORCE, the Institute of Marine Research, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre.

Mari Hasle Einang from the Norwegian Children and Youth Council talks to the audience. In the panel from the right: Dr. Morgan Wairiu, Deputy Director at PaCE-SD, University of the South Pacific, Taholo Kami, Ocean Pathway Envoy, Ola Elvestuen, Norwegian Minister of Climate, Cristelle Pratt, Deputy Director, Pacific Islands Forum, Tore Furevik, Director, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and moderator Edvard Hviding, Director of Bergen Pacific Studies at the University of Bergen. Photo: Gudrun Sylte

The young voice in climate negotiations

– We are part of the delegations, but we are not heard when it matters, Mari Hasle Einang of the Norwegian Children and Youth Council said at the Arctic-Pacific side event at the climate top meeting COP24 in Katowice, Poland.

Mari Hasle Einang is youth delegate in the Norwegian delegation to the UN climate negotiations this year, and has since 2016 followed the work of implementing the rule book of the Paris Agreement. She is very thankful for the fact that the Norwegian delegation includes the Children and Youth Council for the event, but is frustrated to see the negotiation texts being finalized and leaving out the young voice where it matters most.  

This year many children and children organizations have been present at the climate top meeting, with Swedish Greta Thunberg addressing the UN secretary general António Guterres the first week of the negotiations. Also the Norwegian Children Climate Panel was present, together with children and youth organisations from many other countries.  

– The young voice is key in the climate issue. We are the future, but still we experience a top down voice on our demands in meetings. I guess it is a matter of culture and how easy it is to ignore us, Einang says.

 

High ambitions

In a panel discussion at the official Norwegian Side Event to the COP24, the UN climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland, she received extensive applause from the audience and the other panelists.

– The youth are the future, we need to make sure there is a future both for people and the planet, said Cristelle Pratt, Deputy Secretary-General in the Pacific Island Forum.

The Norwegian Minister of Climate, Ola Elvestuen, underlined the enormous task it is to meet the ambitions expressed in the IPCC 1,5 report. According to the Minister, the IPCC 1,5 report has really changed the climate discussions by showing the importance of keeping global warming as low as possible.

 

 

Ocean - Climate Connections

The Side Event addressing ocean and climate connections from the Arctic to the Pacific regions, brought forward the extensive cooperation between Norway and the Pacific countries in both science and diplomacy.

Taholo Kami, the COP23 Presidency’s Ocean Pathway Envoy highlighted the strong ocean leadership by both Norway and the Pacific.

– We have had a long term equal partnership. It is a privilege to work closely with a country that really understands the ocean, Taholo Kami, said.