President of the St Patrick’s Youth Organisation (SPYO), Brent Alexander, was one of two Grenadians chosen to represent the island in the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition Conference held in Milan, Italy from 30 September – 2 October 2021.
The second Grenadian representative was Renae Baptiste from the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) in Grenada.
The Youth4Climate Conference was convened by the Government of Italy and featured 3 days of programming which were organised around 4 thematic areas: youth driving ambition, sustainable recovery, non-state actors’ engagement, and climate-conscious society.
Over 300 youth delegates from 197 member countries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change attended the event.
Alexander described the invitation to attend the Youth4Climate event as a thrilling experience which allowed him to present the adverse issues that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Grenada face as a result of climate change on an international platform. He thanked Parliamentary Representative for St Patrick East, Pamela Moses, the St Patrick’s Environmental and Community Tourism Organisation (SPECTO), the UN and relevant stakeholders for their assistance towards his trip.
The experience afforded the young Grenadians the opportunity to join with young people from around the world to advocate for an immediate international community response to address and take conclusive actions on climate change and its impact on SIDS.
“It was a fantastic experience, and I am glad that I was chosen to represent my country and SPYO despite the challenges that the pandemic posed,” he said. “It was important that Grenada’s and the wider Caribbean’s perspective on climate change be considered.”
As a youth leader, Alexander stressed the importance of youth involvement. “It is very important that as young people we are brought to the table of decision-making. Young people are the leaders of tomorrow and, therefore, we must be listened to as many of us have brilliant ideas about the way forward in urgently tackling climate change.”
“The event has taught me so much about partnerships, negotiation and the complexities of language and the difficulties that SIDS, particularly Caribbean Islands, face at the international level ensuring that our voices are heard and that the final document presented at COP26 will be reflected.”
The outcomes of the discussion will be taken forward to COP26 where the Government of Italy, UNESCO and other partners are exploring the possibility for an event where Ministers of Education and Environment will come together for a joint commitment to scaling up education in addressing climate change.
NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.