Youth Engagement Plan for climate action

The Youth Engagement Plan is a plan with practical and inspiring recommendations to promote and increase youth participation within climate policy and practice worldwide. It was launched on December 3 during the NDC Partnership’s Annual Members Forum.

Image: ©NDC Partnership

Around the world, young leaders and activists are organizing climate campaigns calling for urgent climate action. Yet young people are generally not included in the decision-making.

Launch of Youth Engagement Plan

But as we are approaching the new year, there is reason to celebrate! On December 3, the Youth Engagement Plan (YEP) of the NDC Partnership was launched by Minister Kaag and Youth Representative Aoife Fleming (The Netherlands) and Minister Meza and

Youth Representative Natalia Gómez (Costa Rica) during the Partnership’s Annual Members Forum. The YEP will serve as a foundation for the NDC Partnership and its members to scale up youth participation within climate goals and policy developments all over the world.

Youth participation within climate policy

Youth today — and the generations to come — will have to live with and manage the impacts of a changing climate. The NDC Partnership and its members believe that meaningful engagement with youth can lead to more ambitious climate action. That is why the Youth Engagement Plan was launched on December 3: a plan with practical and inspiring recommendations to promote and increase youth participation within climate policy and practice worldwide.

Mandated by the NDC Partnership, a Youth Task Force composed of youth from all around the world contributed many Summer nights to writing the plan. The Netherlands, as co-chair of the NDC Partnership, was represented by Dutch UN Youth Representative on Sustainable Development Aoife Fleming, who together with her Costa Rican counterpart Natalia Gómez, led an ambitious group of young people to hold global consultations and draft recommendations, assisted by the Support Unit of the NDC Partnership.

“The YEP is truly a youth-led product. The starting point was always youth’s priorities and obstacles when engaging with climate action and policy. And then it was also youth who turned these priorities into actionable recommendations.” - Aoife Fleming, UN Youth Representative                                   

More climate education

Based on the global youth consultations, one of the main themes of the YEP is more climate education for both youth and policy-makers. For example, countries are encouraged to create a climate change scholarship and provide youth engagement trainings to policy-makers. The YEP also entails practical recommendations for including youth in the NDC enhancement cycle. The YEP presents “opportunities for increased, meaningful engagement of young people in the NDC Partnership’s work”, with core components being integrated into the NDC Partnership 2021-2025 Work Program.

Image: ©NDC Partnership

Walk the Walk

A wonderful milestone. As Minister Kaag mentioned during the launch at December 3, the YEP can be used as a roadmap, and a starting point with ambitious goals, putting “youth at the heart of everything we do”. The next step will be the implementation. Expertise will be needed across the board, and it will be up to all of us to turn the recommendations of the YEP into concrete steps – so to create more meaningful youth engagement within climate action.

Let’s make sure that we do not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. 2021: a year for, by and with the youth!