Youth delegates from Slovakia and Slovenia take part in COP28 Climate Change conference

13 December 2023 - A large number of young people took part in the UN Climate Change conference in Dubai – COP28 – among them two youth delegates, Pavol Beblavý from Slovakia and Rok Dolenc from Slovenia. They shared their experience of being at COP28 with us.

Slovenia's youth climate delegate Rok Dolenc wrote while at the conference in Dubai:

8 December 2023 - Feelings so far are mostly positive - in the first week we have had seen some early successes already, including the operationalization of the fund to help the most vulnerable countries, to which Slovenia will also contribute €1.5 million. The real measure of the success of this year's climate conference will be the second week, which aims to reach an agreement at the high political level. Most attention will be focused on the fossil fuel divestment wording, where young people are pushing for a complete divestment of fossil fuels with a clear timeline by 2050.

As for the participation of young people, it is certainly encouraging that at this year's conference a record number of countries have youth delegates in their delegation. As the Slovene youth climate delegate, I work closely with delegates from other European countries, with whom we defend common positions during negotiations and meetings with decision-makers. As many as 19 youth delegates from 11 European countries signed the document with common positions.


Pavol Beblavý was the Slovak Youth Delegate at COP28 in Dubai:

13 December 2023 -  From 30 November to 2 December, as part of the delegation of the President of the Slovak Republic, I attended the COP 28 event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The event was held at the Expo 2020 Centre, which was divided into the Green Zone, with public access and containing themed pavilions, the Blue Zone, with access for members of delegations and the world press for negotiations, and the VVIP Zone, restricted to heads of state and their advisors. As a youth delegate, I had access to the green and blue zones and took advantage of the opportunity. In the green zone, I visited pavilions on technology, innovation, youth, pollution and women's rights. In the blue zone, I followed the climate policy negotiations as an observer. It was fascinating to see these meetings live. At the same time, I followed the negotiations in the VVIP zone and the international policy debates on fossil fuels from a distance. At COP 28, there was a confrontation between phase-down and phase-out proposals. It was interesting to watch the negotiations and the major speeches that led to the agreement of 200 countries to completely reject fossil fuels. The conference also dealt with how to help countries facing the effects of climate change to modernize the planet while not polluting, and how Slovakia, as an European Union country, should approach the climate issue. Attending COP 28 was very rewarding for me, and I strongly believe that I will be able to better communicate the UN's activities on climate change to Slovak youth.