The Conference of the Parties, widely known as COP, stands as a beacon of global cooperation in the face of one of humanity’s most profound challenges – climate change. Convened annually under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the COP meetings bring together nations, leaders, scientists, and advocates to collectively address the urgent issues surrounding our planet’s changing climate. These conferences serve as a critical forum for negotiating international climate agreements, shaping policies, and fostering collaboration on a scale necessary to tackle the complex and interconnected challenges of a warming world. This year, Young European Leadership had the honor of sending ten young European delegates to Dubai to attend the summit, allowing them to engage with policymakers and to express the voice of European youth.

Meet the Delegates

Our delegation to COP28 comprises a dynamic group of young leaders, each passionately dedicated to advancing the cause of environmental sustainability and combating climate change. Drawn from all across Europe and from many different disciplines and professional backgrounds, these delegates embody the spirit of the next generation committed to steering the world towards a more resilient and environmentally conscious future. Armed with innovative ideas, expertise in diverse fields, and an unwavering commitment to collective action, our representatives stood at the forefront of efforts to address the pressing challenges discussed at COP28. Our delegates this year were:

  1. Andrea Rosso – Italy
  2. Ana Voicila – Romania
  3. Celestine Schorlemer – Germany
  4. Felix Stadelmann – Germany
  5. Harriet Klepper – Germany
  6. Marta Kakol – Poland
  7. Millie May – United Kingdom 
  8. Philipp Wagner – Germany
  9. Sofia Hurtado – Spain
  10. Zofia  Borowczyk – Poland


Preparation and Training

In the lead-up to COP28, our delegates underwent a rigorous and comprehensive training program designed to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and strategic insights necessary to make a meaningful impact on the global stage. The delegations team invested considerable effort in providing extensive briefings on the intricacies of international climate negotiations, fostering a deep understanding of the current geopolitical landscape surrounding environmental issues. Moreover, recognizing the importance of effective communication, the delegates received specialized media training from our communications team. This training not only refined their ability to articulate their perspectives and ideas clearly but also prepared them for engaging with diverse audiences, from fellow delegates to the global media. Schneider Electric, YEL’s largest sponsor, also provided an excellent presentation that helped the delegates navigate the complicated world of the COP summit and provided invaluable information as it pertained to all things environmental. Armed with this robust preparation, our delegates embark on their journey to COP28, poised not only to contribute meaningfully to the discussions but also to effectively convey their vision for a sustainable and resilient future to the world.


Delegates in Action at COP28

Divided into two teams, our delegates embarked on a two week-long immersion at COP28, delving into a myriad of discussions and policy dialogues that underscored the urgency of youth involvement in addressing the climate crisis. The teams, strategically composed of five individuals each, navigated the bustling summit halls to engage with policymakers from around the world. Notably, they held meaningful dialogues with representatives from various European countries and the European Union, fostering collaborative efforts to amplify the impact of regional initiatives. At the heart of their discussions lay a shared commitment to exploring innovative policies that would empower the younger generation to play a pivotal role in climate solutions. From brainstorming sessions on sustainable practices to policy discussions on integrating youth perspectives into national strategies, our delegates actively contributed to shaping the discourse on the intersection of youth engagement and climate action. Through their interactions, our teams advocated for inclusive, youth-centric policies that recognize the transformative potential of the younger generation in steering the world towards a more sustainable future.



Reflection and Dissemination: Catalyzing Change Beyond COP28

As our delegates return home from the exhilarating endeavor at COP28, a crucial phase of reflection and dissemination unfolds. This pivotal period allows our representatives to introspect on the insights gained, lessons learned, and connections forged during their time at the summit. The reflective process serves as a catalyst for personal and collective growth, enabling the delegates to distill the essence of their experiences and identify actionable strategies for furthering their advocacy in the realm of climate action. Simultaneously, dissemination becomes a focal point as our delegates share their experiences, key takeaways, and the outcomes of their engagements with a wider audience. Through various platforms, including social media, press releases, and community forums, and political engagement our delegates continue to contribute to a broader narrative that emphasizes the imperative of youth involvement in climate initiatives. The reflection and dissemination phase amplifies the impact of their participation at COP28, fostering an effect that extends far beyond the summit halls and into communities, inspiring collective action for a sustainable future.


Our Purpose and Going Forward

At YEL, we strive to help young leaders advance in their careers and have their talents appreciated and applied at an international level. For many, this has been the experience of a lifetime, and something which will help them advance their own advocacy work long after the summit. As Ana Voicila stated to the YEL team, “Participating at COP28 was an unparalleled experience! From engaging with world leaders to contributing in negotiations, I connected with individuals globally, gaining a profound perspective on global priorities. Advocating for European youth voices, I cherished the opportunity to learn and connect, successfully sharing our thoughts on this influential platform.” We look forward to continuing to send delegates to COP annually and we will ensure that future delegations build up and expand on the work that was done this past year at COP. From all of us here at YEL, we thank our COP28 delegates for all of the work that they have put in, and we wish them the best of luck moving forward.