This blog features the work of youth climate activists preparing to attend the 20th Conference of Parties (COP) with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
AO, SSC, COP…What does it all mean?
If you just drifted upon this blog while surfing the interwebs, you may be wondering what the AO Committee is and its purpose. AO is an acronym commonly used for “anti-oppression.” We’re one of five sub-committees in the International Committee (IC) of the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC); the other four being Communications, Policy, Fundraising and Logistics/International Networking.
What does the International Committee do?
Every year, the SSC sends a group of youth delegates to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP). While there, the delegates track the negotiations happening at the conference, communicate with folks back home about what’s happening, network with other youth from around the world and pressure the US government to negotiate for ambitious policy to combat climate change.
Wait..what is this UN COP thing?
Every year, in different cities around the world, negotiators from countries around the world gather together to talk about international climate policy. They discuss different aspects of climate change and what we’re going to do internationally to address climate change and its impacts. This includes carbon emission reduction, financing the costs of damage due to disasters caused by climate change, etc.
But it’s not just negotiators that attend the conference. Also represented are business and civil society which includes non-governmental organizations and youth.
So what is the Anti-Oppression (AO) Committee?*
The AO Committee is one sub-committee in the International Committee that the SSC sends to COP. The objective of the committee is “to track policy, make recommendations and educate the wider COP community – including YOUNGO** and our own committee – while working under an Anti-Oppressive framework that encompasses an awareness of the cultural practices of our space and ensuring that frontline communities are given more space and say in the negotiations and process.”
*Disclaimer: While, as a committee, we focus on making our delegation and the greater COP community as anti-oppressive as possible, we are not, and do not claim to be, experts on anti-oppression work. We are constantly learning, challenging ourselves and improving. We exist to ensure that AO work is a priority and a focus and to share our own experiences and knowledge of AO work with others.
**YOUNGO (Youth NGOs) is the official constituency for the international youth movement at COP.