The 15th Conference of Youth (COY), which takes place for three days preceding the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) is underway in Madrid, Spain, as youth organisations come up with frameworks to present at COP25.

The 15th COY is a preparatory session of youth NGOs to develop position papers, network and meet new members, and hold strategic discussions on climate change solutions.

COY Coordinator, Eleanor Henderson said the conference has been running for 15 years with workshops for youth organisations to benefit from ahead of COP.

“COY was set up as a platform for youth organisations to meet up and come up with common goals and frameworks towards combating climate change in their countries which can, in turn, be presented at COP 25 for the youth views to be heard and better implemented at the highest level,” she said.

Some youths attending this year’s conference said it is a platform for them to speak with one voice on climate change.

“COY gives us a chance to learn how best to present our issues and have better youth representation,” said one of the youths.

“We are trying to save our planet and the youth can’t just be calling for action, as youths we should start to take action,” said another youth.

National Coordinator African Youth Initiative on Climate change Zimbabwe, Jean Mhandu said youth organisations in the country have come up with initiatives towards combating climate change.

COY primarily serves as a space for capacity building and policy training to prepare young people for their participation at COP, which begins on Monday the 2nd of December in Madrid Spain.