In November 2020, frustrated with the postponement of COP26, 330 youth activists from 140 countries gathered for Mock COP26, a fully virtual and inclusive conference, to show world leaders what COP26 would look like if it were run by the youth.
The two-week online event consisted of keynotes and panel discussions and culminated in the development of the Mock COP26 treaty, drawn up with the help of environmental law charity ClientEarth. Thanks to ClientEarth's involvement, countries can choose to ratify the treaty, which outlines 18 policies that young people want to be implemented in the run up to, and during, COP26 this year.
A series of international media sell-ins resulted in over 400 pieces of coverage globally, the majority of which amplified voices of Global South youth on the frontlines of the climate crisis. An accompanying digital campaign utilised creative assets to secure shares from high-profile influencers, resulting in over 26 million timeline deliveries for the #MockCOP26 hashtag.
As a result of the widespread coverage, Mock COP organisers are now being actively included in high-level policy discussions. Government figures and policymakers, including the Italian Government, have reached out to Mock COP26 to better understand how they can implement their demands. A new relationship between youth organisers and the UNDP resulted in the Mock COP26 highlights film - featuring key moments and a strong call to arms - being played to world leaders attending the international Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020.