It has been a challenging few months for the world as the COVID-19 crisis has slowed activities everywhere. However, taking inspiration from the resilience of trees like the Baobab, we the young people are driving momentum on our concerns and are moving forward with Global Climate Action. This includes taking part in the #Youth4ClimateLive Series, whose third online session took place on August 28, 2020.
In the spirit of International Youth Day 2020 and #31DaysofYOUth, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramayake, joined Episode 3 to hear firsthand from youth leaders driving global climate action and engage them in a meaningful conversation on how to ensure young people’s voices, demands and concerns are heard at the highest level of the United Nations through different platforms such as the recently created UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.
The webinar started with video messages from youth around the world responding to the UN Youth Envoy’s question: “How would you tackle the climate crisis if you were your country’s Minister for the Environment?” We heard impressive plans from the youth, like implementing a Green New Deal, prioritizing reforestation, and working towards a distributed renewable energy system.
In case you missed it, don’t worry! This article will lay out the key points discussed in the conversation so you can catch up. The full recording is also available to watch on youth4climate.live.
The moderators started by inviting those tuning in to complete a survey, and they continued to make the session as interactive, engaging, and conversational as possible throughout. The survey was on whether or not audience members engaged with decision-makers in their countries to shape climate policy and what barriers stand in their way.
Youth Engagement for Global Climate Action
Ernest Gibson, a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, emphasized that youth engagement is extremely useful for conversations at all levels. Drawing an example from his own grassroots engagement, he said that “When the youth are involved deliberately and meaningfully, the conversation changes entirely, recognizing the nexus between generations.”
He recognized the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change as the first platform of its kind and as a valuable addition to the youth engagement process. Beyond this, he said we have the ability to adapt, change and reshape in a way no other generation has been able to before now,. and promised to approach the conversation with the UN Secretary-General with strong evidence-based information.