The Global Search for Education: COP27 Youth Envoy Omnia El Omrani Discusses Climate Policy with Philo Magdalene

C. M. Rubin
3 min readMay 3, 2023

This month, the Planet Classroom Network presents Net Zero Speaks With Omnia El Omrani. This program is curated by the Protect Our Planet Movement and Planet Classroom.

In this Net Zero interview, Philo Magdalene, a climate activist, talks to Omnia El Omrani, the first official Youth Envoy for COP27, about her insights and experiences from the 2022 UN climate negotiations.

El Omrani and Magdalene delve into a range of topics, including the provision for a fund to support developing countries vulnerable to climate change, the challenges facing progress towards achieving Net Zero, and how to make COP conferences more accessible to younger generations. Additionally, El Omrani sheds light on Egypt’s role in the global climate agenda and the impact of activism on Egyptian youth.

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Philo Magdalene.

Philo, why did you decide to interview Omnia?

I was amazed to find out about Omnia’s rich portfolio and experience that aptly positioned her as the first official Youth Envoy for COP27. Who better than this young diplomat to talk about COP27 and the novel space it created for youth? A medical doctor, activist, policy researcher, advocacy leader, trainer, and more, Omnia, with her multifaceted endeavors, is an immediate inspiration to any youth who learns about her.

What surprised you most about your interview?

What surprised me most was the vein of undeterred optimism that permeated all her answers during the interview. With close to a decade of working with youth and her experience with leaders and negotiators at COPs, Omnia was not only able to take serious cognizance of the key challenges that lie ahead but, at the same time, point in directions where critical action is urgently needed and can be realistically possible.

What are the 3 main takeaways for the Net Zero audience from your interview?

COP is a complex and multilateral process, and every year, there is always a grounded apprehension regarding the slow or inadequate realization of targets set by the parties. My first takeaway from the interview is that, despite this undeniable reality, there is always room for optimism, as each year at COP is a significant landmark. COP27, for the first time ever, expanded the role of youth in negotiations, involved the youth constituency in the outcome decision, and created space for youth-led climate dialogue that involved the negotiators, chairs of G-77 China, AOSIS, and others to co-create policy asks.

Secondly, bridging the implementation gap that follows COP is the need of the hour, and young experts in all fields can especially play an impactful role by using their work to complement and bring to life the ideas discussed in these meetings. Youth activism is also critical to bringing the policies discussed at COP to the national and local levels and pushing for action and implementation.

Finally, we need appropriate climate finance to equally work towards mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage. Omnia rightly points out, “We need not only action but financial mechanisms to really provide and help countries to recover and build back from the impact of climate we see more than ever.”

Thank you Philo!

C.M. Rubin and Philo Magdalene
Don’t miss Net Zero Speaks with Omnia El Omrani, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by the Protect Our Planet Movement and Planet Classroom.