Young people, making up more than a quarter of the global workforce, often live in regions with substantial energy needs. 60% of Africans are under 25, making it the world's youngest continent. Within sub-Saharan Africa, where clean energy access is limited, 20% of the population is aged between 15 and 24. Their potential to drive change, accelerate climate solutions, and lead the energy transition is substantial. Investing in this demographic will expedite the journey toward an energy transition. Recently, UNDP Rome Center's Youth4Climate: Sparking Solutions event in Rome, Italy, showcased 100 youth-led solutions from 63 countries, selected from 1,100 project proposals, focusing on addressing climate challenges, including those in the energy sector. These initiatives demonstrated innovative, viable, and scalable approaches to challenges like clean cooking in Malawi, energy poverty in Honduras, community inequalities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and indoor air pollution in Chile through improved cookstoves, Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) model and off-grid solar solutions.
From educational development to implementing smart grid systems and collaborating with eco-conscious organizations, young individuals hold the potential to translate their enthusiasm into tangible actions. The renewable energy sector's goal to generate millions of jobs by 2030 offers a promising chance to harness the skills and innovative ideas of the youth. The Youth4Climate initiative's mentorship programs, knowledge sharing, and skill development are essential components that will further support this opportunity. As influential contributors to the energy transition, young advocates can mold a sustainable future, ensuring a lasting positive impact for future generations.