Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing today. The effects of climate change span the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies. We can feel them everywhere in the world, including both Russia and France.

Today’s youth is going to bear the consequences and live through the challenges of climate adaptation in the nearest future, however, we can still reverse the worst-case scenario. That´s why from September 2020 till March 2021, we are bringing you the Franco Russian Dialogue on Climate Change. We invited 50 young people from Moscow and Paris to develop ideas together and empower each other to become the voice of the generation. With YEE´s support, they will consolidate efforts to tackle the climate emergency and raise concerns to political actors in their countries. The project is funded by the French Embassy in Russia under the Trianon Dialogue initiative.

Project Activities

Every two weeks from the beginning of October till the end of November 2020, 50 young people (18-30 y.o.) from Moscow and Paris, gathered for online youth dialogues, facilitated by a YEE trainer and expert speakers. Each dialogue covered a selected topic related to both countries and climate change – sustainable energy, biodiversity, the Arctic and sustainable cities. 

The goal of the Franco-Russian online youth dialogues was to establish connections between the Russian and French young activists, share the knowledge, think and to develop a policy paper with the demands of young people for political action on climate change mitigation, which will be presented to decision-makers in both countries, promoted through the media, and presented at the United Nations. 

Goals of the Project

Participants of the project had 3 main goals: 

1) To develop a policy paper, based on what they will learn and discuss during the online dialogues, that will be proposed to the French and Russian Politicians, and at the UN. 

2) To apply their ideas to reality and develop a project at the Hackathon.

3) To become a voice holder to mobilize their generation to fight the climate crisis and build a better society. 

Timeline

  • 4 October 2020

    Ice-Breaker Session

    At the #FrRuClimate kick-off meeting,  50 participants from France and Rusia met for the first time to get to know each other better and discover the diversity of the backgrounds they are coming from.

    After the presentation of YEE, the project team and the Dialogue de Trianon initiative, participant went to the break out rooms to start the discussion and brainstorming on their personal experience and knowledge of climate change. We ended the Ice-Breaker Session with a “chatterfall”, an interactive online method for sharing opinions, fears and expectations via chat. We also discussed how can we support the participants throughout the project to ensure the best learning experience for them.

  • 11 October 2020

    1st Online Dialogue / Sustainable Energy

    During our first dialogue of the #francorussiandialogue on Climate Change, we explored the topic of sustainable energy, together with our guest expert Beniamin Strzelecki. 

    Participants had a chance to look into the complexity of the causes and effects of the climate crisis using the En-ROADS Climate Simulator and discuss possible solutions in the energy sector.

    Together we confirmed once again that carbon price is a single most effective solution to reduce global warming emissions Despite the complexity of the climate crisis and the lack of political will, we are looking to the future with hope, as we are certain there are solutions and it is in our hands to demand action from the policymakers now.

    Thanks to all participants for your active participation. You are the real change-makers!

  • 23 October 2020

    Paris-St. Petersburg Hybrid Conference

    On the 23rd of October, YEE together with our Member Organisation Jeunes Ambassadeurs pour le Climat (JAC) and the Dialogue du Trianon (Трианонский диалог) organised a hybrid conference that took place in Paris and Saint-Petersburg, and online at the same time. The discussion was held in Russian and French languages, with a simultaneous translation assured.

    A special focus was given to the Arctic region which is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and the role of young people in tackling the climate crisis. One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation by Margarita Usachyova, a 4th-year student of the Russian State Hydrometeorological University. We were delighted to know more about the student participation in the Transarctica expedition first-hand from Margarita herself, who joined the expedition in 2019. 

    About the speakers

    We had the honor of having a dialogue on the French side with Mr. Mered, geopolitics teacher specializing in the Arctic, Antarctic and Hydrogen at Sciences Po Paris, the Catholic University of Lille, ILERI, and the School de Guerre where he is also responsible for the Safety and Environment committee. Finally, he is also an expert appraiser for the European Commission. In 2019, he published his first book, “Les Mondes Polaires” (University Press of France), and in 2021 will publish his second book dedicated to the geopolitics of hydrogen in the Arctic and around the world.

    On the Russian side, Dr. Sergei Smychliaev, doctor in physical and mathematical sciences, professor at the Department of Meteorological Forecasting of the Russian State Hydrometeorological University and Margarita Usachyova, 4th-year student, talked about “Fundamental problems of global warming: l ‘importance of taking into account the indirect effects of climate change in the Arctic and surrounding regions ”and“ Student participation in the Transarctica-2019 expedition.

  • 25 October 2020

    2nd Online Dialogue / Biodiversity

    This time we met for another session of the Franco-Russian Dialogue on Climate Change, dedicated to biodiversity. During this Dialogue, we dived into international biodiversity frameworks, policies, targets and agreements, their effectiveness and the national ownership.

    Together with two experts,  Felix Feider and Sebastien Willemart, participants posed important and challenging questions on international frameworks and their effectiveness, lack of political action and real actors of change, which would follow the international discussions and agreements.

    Felix and Sebastien guided us through the Climate-Biodiversity-Health nexus, the international biodiversity framework (CBD, Nagoya, Cartagena),  international discussions, and reports, as well as ownership, and participation on the national level.  

    • Félix Feider

    Félix is a 25-year-young conservationist and environmental advocate from Luxembourg, based in London. He is the Biodiversity Working Group Facilitator at Generation Climate Europe and the Liaison Officer on Biodiversity at Youth and Environment Europe, where he mainstreams biodiversity knowledge throughout the European youth environmental movement, empowers youth to take action and pushes for stronger action from the EU on biodiversity issues. Biodiversity is the crumbling foundation of life on Earth and must be put at the center of decision-making processes to create a healthier, more equitable and prosperous future for all, especially the poor and most vulnerable. He previously interned at the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and the Convention on Migratory Species (UNCMS), and most recently at the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). He holds an MSc in Conservation from University College London, a BSc in Marine Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway and is studying the MSc in Environment, Politics and Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. 

    • Sebastien Willemart

    Backed by experiences with the UN and EU, Sébastien has strengthened WWF advocacy strategies, contributed to the UN World Water Development Report, and drafted recommendations to the European Parliament and the Commission. His dedication to environmental protection led him to participate in the World Water Forum, COP 21, COP 23, COP 24 and COP25. Sébastien was the Y4N Regional Director for Western Europe & Others from Summer 2019 to Summer 2020 and is now advising Y4N on EU Green Deal legislative proposals and international negotiations . He holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Territorial Development from KU Leuven, a Master’s degree in Economics from Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne and a Master in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe, where he focused his research on EU Energy Policy, Climate Diplomacy and Circular Economy.

    We are yet to come back to the topic of biodiversity to discuss how to make sure there is sufficient follow up in action from the decision makers who represent us on the local, national and pan-European levels. 

  • 08 November 2020

    3rd Online Dialogue / Debate Session

     On November 8th, the Franco-Russian Dialogue participants met again for a brainstorm and debate session, following the expert sessions on sustainable energy and biodiversity. They shared knowledge and brought up related issues and cases from France and Russia. In the beginning of the session, we welcomed Nathan Metenier, Member of the UN Secretary General Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, and YEE’s External Relations Officer & Vice-Chairperson. Nathan shared his experience as a youth climate advocate, the struggles he faced and the strategies he developed to overcome them. The project team explained the concept and the framework for the policy paper, which will be the next step for participants! 

  • 22 November 2020

    4th Online Dialogue / The Arctic

    The 4th Franco-Russian Dialogue carried a holistic session on the Arctic. Thus, we were able to get a comprehensive overview of the issues and the questions that the climate change effects bring up in the Arctic. The most important thing we learned at this dialogue is however that what happens in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic. 

    Speakers:

    Gerhard Krinner, Senior scientist of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) & IPCC contributor  talked about the science behind thawing permafrost. 

    Susana Hancock, Specialist in Arctic affairs, joining us on behalf of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), talked about the political and economic implications of climate change in the Arctic. 

    Laure Gandois, Researcher of carbon cycling in peatlands and soils at CNRS with extensive experience of work in the field in the Arctic, shared the experience from her expeditions in Siberia. 

    Viacheslav Chadrin and Dilbara Sharipova, Climate activists, representatives of indigenous peoples in Russia, explained how climate change affects their lives, homes and communities. 

    We are looking forward to drafting the proposals for the Arctic section of our policy paper!

  • December 2020 - June 2021

    Writing a policy paper

    The work on the Policy Paper took place between November 2020 and June 2021 as a part of the Franco-Russian Dialogue on Climate Change, supported by the Trianon Dialogue Program. The process was organised by a team of dedicated volunteers: Konstantin Blondeau, Marion Cousinie, Sofya Epifantseva, Viktoria Kosmatova, and Juan Antonio Pérez. 

  • 5th of September 2021

    Presentation at the IUCN Pavillion

    Coming soon!

Topics

Each online dialogue was focused on one of the climate-related topics, which closely align with the current environmental challenges in France and Russia. These topics were sustainable energy, biodiversity, the Arctic, and sustainable cities. Each online session was conducted by a YEE facilitator together with a guest expert. The dialogues consisted of both theoretical part to expand the knowledge of participants, but also of a practical task and discussion.