The EESC's youth event Your Europe, Your Say! (YEYS) 2021 will model the United Nations' climate change conference (COP), with students giving their take on how to deal with the climate crisis and come closer to the 2050 climate-neutral ambitions.

Since 2010, YEYS has brought over 100 young students and more than 30 teachers from across Europe to Brussels each year to debate the hot topics of the day. YEYS 2021, which will take place on 18-19 March 2021 in the shape of a fully virtual event due to COVID-19, will be entitled Our Climate, Our Future!

Thirty-three schools will participate in this youth debate, one from each of the EU's 27 Member States and the five candidate countries (North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Montenegro and Albania) plus one from the UK, as tangible proof of the EESC's resolve to stay close to British civil society.

The aim of this 12th YEYS event is to listen to the students' fresh views on how to tackle the current climate crisis and how to come closer to the 2050 climate-neutral ambitions.

The results of YEYS 2021 will be shared with international environment policy-makers and promoted at conferences around Europe, including the European Parliament's European Youth Event (EYE), which will take place at the end of May 2021.

While the students are busy at their COP, the teachers will be attending online information sessions organised in cooperation with the three main EU institutions (the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the EU) with the aim of adding to their knowledge of the EU's work and resources for youth and education.

In parallel to YEYS, the EESC will run a social media campaign on Instagram and Facebook to raise climate change awareness and encourage young people to take up a sustainable lifestyle. (cl)