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Canadian Delegation at Children’s Climate Forum in Copenhagen

2009-11-26

Who:  
160 children from 44 developing and industrialized countries around the world. Canadian youth delegation from Québec City

When:  
November 28 – December 4, 2009.

Where:  
Copenhagen City Hall, Copenhagen. 

What:
The official Children’s Climate Forum is organized by UNICEF and the City of Copenhagen. It takes place in the week leading up to the intergovernmental negotiations on climate change (COP15) in December in Copenhagen.

During the forum, youth delegates will engage in skill-building sessions, a negotiating session and draft a declaration that will be presented to the President of the COP15 at the Forum closing session. Forum delegates will learn and discuss how they can engage as young “climate ambassadors” at local and national levels when they return to their respective countries. A small group of the delegates will also participate in the first week of COP15 to engage with negotiators. 

Why:  
The purpose of the Children’s Climate Forum is to give children from both developing and industrialized countries a voice in the global climate change debate and a chance to influence the important agreement to be decided at COP15. It’s unique that children from both industrialized and “at-risk” countries meet face-to-face to discuss impact of climate change on children, and how children can take part in both local and global efforts to adapt to, and fight climate change.

Media opportunities:           
There will be opportunities for media to interview the Canadian youth delegation while in Copenhagen and upon their return to Canada after the Children’s Climate Forum. 

During the forum, communication materials including photos, video, and stories, will be made available to Canadian media upon request. For further information, please visit www.childrensclimateforum.org.

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Background:
The children of today will bear the consequences of climate change, thanks to the unfortunate legacy of their elders. Yet children and young people are also well placed to contribute to the fight even now. They are more adaptable to new coping strategies in at-risk countries, and they can quickly make low-carbon lifestyles and career choices a part of their daily lives in the industrialized world. Children should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national, and global levels. And they can actively support initiatives that will lead the passage of far-reaching legislation. As stated in article 12 in the Child Rights’ Convention, every child has the right to express itself and be heard on issues of importance to the child. In a world affected by climate change, UNICEF is dedicated to giving children an opportunity to speak out. As host city of the COP15, the City of Copenhagen is actively supporting the initiative to involve children in the global climate debate. 

About UNICEF:
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.