The world is home to 1.8 billion young people, the largest generation of people between the ages of 10-24. Young people are correctly stomping their feet for the changes we urgently need in areas like climate action & they are speaking truth to power. Credit: UNDP.

 

As prepared for delivery.

Question to Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator [posed by moderators]:

How do you support the role that young people play on climate action, including in the context of the revision of the national determined contribution in 2020?

•    I am delighted to join you at the ECOSOC Youth Forum. I commend all co-conveners for bringing together an impressive group of young students, activists, researchers, journalists, politicians, entrepreneurs, etc., and I congratulate all young people who have joined the conversation, in person, travelling from afar, or online through the virtual consultation.  

•    Today’s young people have a unique stake in the global dialogue on climate change and you are making your voices heard in the most inspiring ways. You are not in the business of hope and rightly demand bold action, from all corners of the globe.  

•    Not only do we collectively need to address specific climate-related challenges that young people face in their daily lives, but we also need to recognize, value and support the positive role that young women and men are already doing in protecting the environment, raising awareness, bringing new analyses, and leading projects at all levels, particularly at the grassroots level.

•    UNDP has been a key partner to governments as they take bold climate action. All of UNDP’s climate-related programming is aligned to support the delivery of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) priorities and targets. We specifically work to strengthen UNDP’s role as the connector of civil society and youth with NDC ambition and implementation. We leverage our broad expertise and networks to help governments identify their climate priorities and provide them with the tools and support to be able to achieve them. By supporting governments with thought leadership, scaled-up action, and connecting youth voices to government policy, UNDP can help governments to access the knowledge, resources and partnerships that the need to implement NDCs and increase ambition by 2020.

•    Let me give you some examples of how we partner with young people:
o    In Somalia, through the Enhancing Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems project, we help local partners integrate climate risks into natural resource management and drought preparedness, and support young people’s capacity development to serve in understaffed ministries and support efforts on the ground, including through 30 scholarships for a Master’s Programme in Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability.
o    In Fiji, we co-convened with YOUNGO, the Climate Change Local Conference of Youth, which provided capacity building and policy training to prepare youths for their involvement in the upcoming climate negotiations.
o    We implement a regional climate education programme, focused on the development and use of an interactive learning toolkit called the “Climate Box” - currently covering 8 countries and reaching out to over 50,000 school kids in Europe and Central Asia. Our aim is to make Climate Box a truly international educational platform uniting children and teachers across the borders and available in all UN languages.
o    We regularly co-organize youth video competitions with UNFCCC and support youth-led initiatives through our Small Grants Programme.

•    It is important mentioning that UNDP is also in the process of consulting how we can best enhance youth meaningful participation and best harness and encourage youth-led initiatives, organisations movements and networks, ahead of the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit and beyond. We know we cannot meet the goals of the Paris Agreement without young people. We have begun developing some exciting ideas with partners, including YOUNGO, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and other entities, and look forward to sharing the outcomes of these discussions with you soon. We will also convene a youth challenge focused on resilience, in preparation for the Summit, as part of the broader “Unite” challenge, led by the Youth Envoy.

•    Increasing ambition and implementing national climate strategies would simply not be possible without meaningful youth participation. From the design of the NDC to implementation to tracking and increasing ambition, young people have to be involved in every single step to ensure that the process incorporates youth considerations and protects the future generations.

•    We at UNDP want to keep hearing from you and partnering with you. Please follow us on social media channels and reach out to our youth and climate teams to stay updated and get involved!

Thank you!

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