This December a team of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts will attend the world’s largest climate change event, Conference of the Parties, or COP 24. They will represent 10 million girls in 150 countries.
Each year world leaders meet to discuss climate change at Conference Of the Parties, or COP. This year is COP24. It will take place from 3 to 14 December in Katowice in Poland. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is sending five girls to the Conference of Youth, a precursor youth event happening the week before.
Two delegates from Poland and two international representatives will go on to attend COP24. WAGGGS has been working closely with Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego (ZHP), the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, to make this a reality.
The last COP event WAGGGS attended was in Paris in 2015, when a major climate change agreement was made. Countries chose to shift their focus from action taken as a planet, to creating limits and targets for their own emissions.
Climate change and the environment is a big issue for girls, which is why WAGGGS is returning to COP for 2018. Through U-Report, the UNICEF polling platform, girls told us the climate and environmental issues were the second most important thing they wanted us to focus on.
For COP24 WAGGGS also used U-Report to ask girls which issues they wanted delegates to focus on. The most popular answer was green energy, with 29 per cent of the votes. This was followed by reducing fossil fuel use and improving education, both with 23 per cent. Click here to see these results in detail.
WAGGGS supports 150 organisations with Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting, these locations represent 10 million girls worldwide. Of these countries, many are already doing great environmental work.
Australia and the USA have whole programmes and badges for these topics. Other organisations run large national projects, like Portugal, where Guides recycled 32 tonnes of used corks. Individual girls have also made amazing impacts. Like Mirna, a Guide and environmental engineer from Bolivia.