Launch of the ‘Special Report on Youth For Climate Action’

Opening Remarks by Ms. Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam

November 1, 2022

Mr. Cuong Tang The, Director General of the Department of Climate Change

Representative from the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union

H.E Ambassador Amal Salama, from the Egyptian Embassy

Representatives from the Sweden, British and Italian Embassies

Representatives from youth-led organisations

Youth from all provinces joining us online

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a privilege to welcome you to the launch of the Special Report on Youth for Climate Action 2022 just a few days before the opening of the 27th  Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in Egypt.

With storms, floods and droughts, we see the devastating impacts of climate change on Viet Nam. As one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, the severity and intensity of these impacts will likely continue to affect the lives and livelihoods of communities and families.  In the years to come, as today’s youth enter adulthood, they will be facing these challenges head on. Young people are looking to their future, and they are holding us accountable to commitments to secure inclusive climate action and sustainable development. This is why it is imperative to continue to pursue rapid cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

In the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres during his address to the Youth Policy Dialogue earlier this month, “There is only one way to be able not to be defeated by these challenges, and that is if we join efforts and we come together through solidarity”.

I want to applaud Viet Nam’s forward-leaning commitments at COP26 to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, reiterated in the National Climate Change Strategy 2050. We need a steep acceleration of climate ambitions by countries across the globe in the next decade so that we will not compromise the ability of future generations to live in a sustainable world.

We recognize that governments alone cannot win the race against climate change. Viet Nam needs the support of the ‘whole of society, including youth, who in Viet Nam represents 23% of the population.  This inclusive approach should be expressed by listening to young people, creating spaces for their voices to be heard, and empowering them to take meaningful youth-led actions.  

Colleagues and friends,

As we come together to launch this 2022 Special Report on Youth4Climate, I would like to acknowledge the journey that youth in Viet Nam have travelled and the achievements they have made.  Starting with the preparation of first Special Report in 2021, and the ambitious Youth-led Roadmap for Climate Action covering the period of 2021-2025, they have ‘walked the talk’ and displayed the extent of their ability and creativity.

Supported by UNDP, they have developed the first Youth4Climate Learning Hub and set up an independent Youth for Climate Network (YNet) with 15 member organisations operating in key areas of climate action.

This new Report is particularly timely because it highlights youth responses to the changing policy landscape and articulates concrete youth-led actions to contribute to Viet Nam’s net-zero goals. Youth authors also prioritized a number of accelerators moving forward, such as the establishment of a Youth Climate Policy Working Group, education and capacity-building programmes on climate change, and financial and technical support for their projects.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am particularly impressed to see that the Youth Statement released last week has already received a few thousand signatures and will contribute to the Global Youth Statement at COP27.  We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the youth representatives who have contributed their time to produce this meaningful Special Report. We are proud of our partnership with you over the last three years to empower, guide, and facilitate youth access to climate action.

The first Special Report was presented to COP26 President Alok Sharma and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in May 2021. This second special Report was introduced to Secretary-General Guterres last week. These clearly show the power of youth and the interest of leaders and policymakers in listening to you.
We call on all development partners to join hands with us to facilitate and advance an environment in which youth can rise to fully occupy their roles as agents of change.

And to Vietnamese youth: we pledge to support you, to ensure that your concerns and your ideas are heard, and to continue working with you to leverage your creativity to boost climate action. It is not only our interest but also our obligation to ensure that you and future generations will be able to live in a just, green and resilient future.

Thank you! Xin cảm ơn!