Panama Leads Youngest Delegation of Negotiators to COP26

Panama Leads Youngest Delegation of Negotiators to COP26

Panama participated today in the “Intergenerational Inquiry: Youth Stepping up Climate Action” event organized by the Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC (YOUNGO) during COP26. The session facilitated a dialogue with youth leaders and high-profile experts to share experiences and stories of change and bring generations together to learn from each other and amplify the scale of climate action. 

Panama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Erika Mouynes delivered remarks on why it is important to meaningfully involve young people in decision making and how the government of Panama has led in this aspect.  

In her remarks minister Mouynes highlighted that Panama has the youngest delegation of negotiators at COP26. The average age of a Panamanian Negotiator at COP26 is 29. The average age of Panama’s Lead Negotiators is 27.  

Additionally, 65% of Panama’s negotiators are women. In fact, the Deputy Lead Negotiator is a 25-year-old woman. “This is important because science tells us that women will be particularly impacted by the climate crisis. So, we have mainstreamed gender across all our positions,” Mouynes said.  

The Government of Panama has not only included young people in their delegation, but they have also provided them with the decision-making power to define and defend the country’s positions, which are all based on science and the need to keep the 1.5C goal alive. 

“It is extremely important to include young people in decision-making precisely because they are the ones who will be most impacted by the adverse effects of climate change,” said Mouynes. “The Panamanian negotiators at this COP are negotiating their own future.”