Climate change represents the biggest threat to sustainable development and is causing widespread, unprecedented impacts that disproportionately burden the poorest, marginalized and most vulnerable, including young people. Tackling climate change is critical to pave the way towards a sustainable future and, with more than 1.8 billion young people in the world, youth are critical stakeholders in climate action. However, young people remain underrepresented in decision-making processes due to the lack of technical, political and financial support, discrimination related to age, gender, experience and capabilities as well as lack of access to information. These barriers continue to hamper youth meaningful engagement and influence on climate action and other development process. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the consequences of inequalities, injustice and the marginalization of youth and has simply exposed the full extent of human vulnerability.
UNDP’s work on youth, climate action and justice, the environment and human rights has expanded and deepened in past years, especially through the Climate Promise, the Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace and the NDC Support Programme. In 2020, UNDP hosted a global consultation on “Youth meaningful participation as a turning point for climate action and NDC ambition” (July-August 2020), followed by a workshop with Youth Delegates on “Enhancing young people’s meaningful participation in climate action accelerating progress on the ground” in December 2020. Alongside these global initiatives, UNDP has been organizing regional consultations and national workshops on climate action and youth throughout 2020 and 2021.
UNDP also organized a consultation process for youth involvement in the problem of climate change involving about 300 young people in Macedonia in the period of October-November 2020. You can read more about the process here.
In this context, in the lead up to COP26 and beyond, UNDP is launching the “Youth Climate Tour”, a series of country dialogues featuring UNDP’s work on climate in partnership with youth stakeholders across different countries and regions.
You can check the summary report from the Sparkblue e-consultation: Youth Meaningful Participation as a Turning Point for Climate Action and NDC Ambition, which was held from 20 July 2020 to 14 August 2020 here.
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