Launch - Aiming Higher: Elevating Meaningful Youth Engagement for Climate Action

Giulia Jacovella
Giulia Jacovella


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Climate change represents the biggest threat to sustainable development of our time. The dual Nature-Climate crisis, combined with the unprecedented socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has magnified and dangerously exacerbated inequalities and disproportionately affected young people and their organizations, who nevertheless go the extra-mile to raise ambition and provide solutions.  

With more than 1.8 billion young people in the world, young people are critical stakeholders in climate action. However, they still face complex development challenges and are still largely excluded from decision making. Age, gender, unequal access to education and health, many interlocking forms of discrimination, human rights violations and the increasingly closing civic space pose significant barriers and hamper youth meaningful engagement and influence on climate action, governance and other development processes. 

For the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), there is both a demographic and democratic imperative to address youth rights, needs and aspirations, as well as an urgent need to recognize and address the disproportionate impacts that the climate crisis, environmental degradation and linked issues of poverty, inequality, and fragility have on them and future generations. It is urgent to act now for youth, and more importantly, with youth in the driving seat.  

As UNDP and partners implement the Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace and the Climate Promise -in more than 120 countries- there is a growing consensus that a key success factor for raising climate ambition is ensuring inclusive decision-making processes that bring together governments at all levels with youth organizations, movements, and networks, as well as with other citizens, private sector, and key stakeholders and partners. Ensuring that young people can shape and implement policies and hold governments accountable is fundamental to lay the groundwork for a better, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.  



Building on UNDP’s work with young people and drawing off extensive consultations and interviews conducted on youth participation, this webinar aims to officially launch UNDP’s new Guidance note, titled Aiming Higher: Elevating Meaningful Youth Engagement for Climate Action

This guidance was developed to ensure that young people are meaningfully engaged and empowered to participate in, and most importantly lead on, climate action. Targeting UNDP staff and the broader community of practice that works closely with youth, it illustrates the conceptual foundations of meaningful youth engagement, identifies successful approaches of participation from across the world, and provides recommendations to support meaningful youth engagement in climate action and in NDC processes specifically. 


Follow us @UNDP4Youth and @UNDPClimate on Twitter!

#UNDPAimingHigher #Youth4Climate #ClimateAction #NDCs

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