What is the Children and Youth Pavilion

The Children and Youth Pavilion represents a space at COP for children and young climate champions, professionals, and activists to engage each other, decision-makers, and influential stakeholders in talks, policy briefings and networking activities.

The Pavilion welcomes participants from diverse backgrounds through cross-sectoral collaborations and promotes knowledge exchange. It showcases the competency and drive of children and youth in setting agendas, innovating solutions, and advancing action on climate change. The Pavilion further provides a forum to deliberate on the global climate ambitions and action plans at the heart of the Paris Agreement and Kyoto Protocol.

Ultimately, the Pavilion amplifies the voices of children and youth and drives action on global climate policies vital to securing our future. 

At COP28, the Pavilion will hold in-person and virtual events, meetings, discussions, workshops, and high-level dialogues, and a dedicated media room for interviews and podcasts, as well as a space for creativity, networking, art, music, and spoken word.

How long has the Children and Youth Pavilion been in existence?

The Children and Youth Pavilion was established at COP27 in Egypt. This was the first time that children and youth have had an official space at a UNFCCC conference in the “Blue Zone” (the UN-managed space which hosts and coordinates the official negotiations). Previously, children and youth did not have designated space within the decision-making areas. The Pavilion was and is led by the youth and supported by a wider group of global youth NGOs and institutional partners.

Children and Youth Pavilion steering committee members: who are they?

The Children and Youth Pavilion Steering Committee (SC) is made up of 21+ youth-led entities and institutions supporting youth engagement and inclusion. The SC has secured the pavilion space, managed the logistics and design of the pavilion layout, curated the programme of the pavilion, set the agenda, and ensured the pavilion represents the values and aims of the youth climate movement. The institutional partners feed into youth plans, guiding and facilitating its development.

The SC had three working groups: Programme, Resource Allocation, and Communications & Media. 

Please find all members of the steering committee here.

What are the requirements to become a Steering Committee member?

The criteria for organisations to join the SC were to have a global or regional focus, youth-led, focused on climate change, familiarity with UNFCCC and COP processes and ability to support work in the weeks leading up and on the ground at COP28.Applications to join the SC this year have now closed but will open again next year.

What are the aims of the Children and Youth Pavilion?

The Children and Youth Pavilion seeks to: 
  • Convene, build solidarity and enhance coordination among diverse youth climate actors, maximise impact throughout COP28, and move the climate agenda forward.
  • Promote learning, exchange of ideas and experience, allowing children and youth to reach our full potential.
  • Be intergenerational, multi-stakeholder and inclusive with children and youth voices at the centre of programming. 
  • Be a space where children and youth engage with experts/decision-makers to facilitate partnerships.
  • Be sensitive to protected characteristics, such as age, sexuality, gender, race, religion and disability dynamics. 
  • An intersectional approach shows the way that people's social identities can overlap, creating compounding experiences of discrimination.
  • Act as a solution catalyst, encouraging cross-sectoral collaborations and engagement, open to participants and organisers from a variety of professional, academic and creative backgrounds and with voices and perspectives we might not always agree with.
  • Ensure all regions have adequate representation, time and space to showcase themselves, especially those that are underrepresented and most affected by the climate crisis.
  • Focus on intersectional themes of climate change, including gender, health, loss and damage, etc.
  • Embrace people’s diversity, differences and life experiences.
  • Ensure fair distribution of opportunities, allowing all youth voices to be equal.

What is the purpose and intended outcomes of the COP28 Youth Pavilion?

Young people are at the centre of a global movement calling for urgent action to address the climate and ecological emergency. We believe that the inclusion of children and youth in global policymaking can help achieve this action. 

COP28 must empower young people to shape the outcomes of the conference and beyond, particularly considering the disproportionate risks and impacts of climate change for children and youth. 

How much did it cost the Children and Youth Pavilion to host during the conference?

We have gone through the same processes as any other pavilion participating at COP28. Our Pavilion was subject to the same costs as other pavilions, but as the youth presence is so important, the Presidency has subsidised our construction costs.

How are you funded?

The Children and Youth Pavilion has been funded by the COP28 Presidency and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). In-kind support has been provided by the Climate Champions Team, Save the Children, UNICEF, Greenhouse Communications and 21 global youth networks. The institutional partners’ role is to guide, facilitate and support the process, while all decision-making is made by the youth-led entities.

Are the young people running the Pavilion and are they being paid for their time?

The Children and Youth Pavilion organisers are made up of a core team of volunteers from each of the youth partners. 

How are you ensuring that children within the pavilion are supported?

We have been guided by our institutional partners Save the Children and UNICEF to ensure that children within the pavilion are adequately supported and looked after. All members of the Steering Committee have undertaken safeguarding training, safeguarding officers will be present at the Pavilion, and consent forms are obtained in advance and during engagements, such as media. 

Are you worried about youth-washing?

Youth-washing is a problem that is present in the climate movement. We are here at COP28 to be seen and heard. This is our opportunity for the youth to come together in the Blue Zone with our own Pavilion. We will not stand for youth-washing. We are present and here to ensure that the youth voices are heard by world leaders and policymakers. We must be taken seriously as this is our future. We want to see strong climate action and campaign for climate justice.

Is the Children and Youth Pavilion linked with YOUNGO or the UAE?

The Children and Youth Pavilion is organised independently of the UAE Government and YOUNGO.