YMCA delegate at COP27: Civil society organisations play key role in climate action

Date: 17 November 2022

By Tudor Rus, YMCA Romania

Tudor has been with the YMCA for six years; he says his interest in climate issues came 10 years ago when he read how monocultures and fossil fuels are destroying the planet. He coordinates the Environmental Department in the YMCA Romania; here, he shares his experience so far as a YMCA delegate at COP27

Greetings from sunny Sharm El-Sheikh. 

It’s the second week of the negotiations in Egypt, and we are in the last three days of ending another Conference of Parties (COP). 

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 – the day we reached the milestone of 8 billion people on the planet – synced perfectly with the COP theme: Action for Climate Environment and Civil Society.

As we know, many of the dangers of climate change are unavoidable, and they’re already wreaking havoc on highly vulnerable countries and communities. It will be much more difficult to adapt to and recover from the ravaging effects resulting from extreme weather happenings and other environmental changes if adaptation efforts are delayed for longer periods of time and the climate changes at a faster rate. As the climate problem becomes more severe and the number of people who need help increases, civil society groups are adapting their strategies to aid delivery by investing more in climate change mitigation and adaptation, particularly in proactive action initiatives. 

Young people taking selfie at COP27
Tudor is pictured with Stefanie Tornow, Germany, and Shakil Karim, USA, heads of the YMCA youth delegation at COP27.

Preventive action strategies utilise technological advancements in preventive measures. Advanced Intervention saves people’s livelihoods, is cost-effective, and is more dignified, evidence shows. This commitment by civil society can only have the desired effect if it is well-supported and works within strategic collaboration with policymakers and other key stakeholders.

Civil society has to play a critical part in enabling governments to establish societies and economies that are more climate resilient. This transition to climate resilience requires that individuals and communities accomplish an unprecedented level of awareness regarding the causes and effects of climate change, as well as the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to resolving the climate crisis. At COP27, we’ve had the opportunity to focus on panels that can be transformed into different workshops aligning with Pillar 3 of Vision 2030: Sustainable Planet.