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UN fellowship programme to prepare young developing country professionals to lead climate action

The United Nations is helping to ensure that young professionals from developing countries are able to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with the help of a new fellowship programme run by two key UN agencies based in Bonn, Germany.

Jakob Rhyner

Dr. Jakob Rhyner, Director of UNU-EHS

The fellowship initiative will offer work experience in a vibrant international policy environment at the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC). The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) will help identify and recruit the young professionals, and provide them with an exciting research environment.

Upon completion of the scheme, the “Early Career Climate Fellows” will be able to work in their home countries or internationally, deploying the valuable experience and insights they have gained in Bonn.

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UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said: “Young, qualified professionals from developing countries represent one of our best resources for building capacity for climate action. As we move with determination into the new era of implementation of the Paris Agreement, we need to equip young people with the skills to green economies and build resilience, and this initiative is an example of how organizations can prepare young people for the challenges of the future.”

“We will also be building their skills so they can better secure employment in the work-place. Many of the young people we will be supporting need real-life experience to get on the job ladder. What we are doing is also a living example of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) under Article 6 of the original Convention. It ranges from education to training in respect to climate change: So we are securing a great, dynamic human resource and giving back with a positive, empowering experience in partnership with UNU,” she added.

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Professor Dr. Jakob Rhyner, Director of UNU-EHS, said: “There are 1.8 billion young people in the world today, more than ever before in human history, and about nine out of ten live in developing countries. Efforts for sustainable development and climate protection must build on their enthusiasm and ideas. The UNFCCC-UNU-EHS Early Career Climate Fellowship Initiative offers young people from developing countries a unique possibility to start their career at the interface between international climate policy development and research.”

Academically outstanding young graduates from developing countries who are less than three years into their careers, especially women from least developed countries, are encouraged to apply.

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Fellowships may last from six months to two years and the work experience with the UNFCCC will be tailored to fit the specific skills and backgrounds of each fellow.

The collaboration will get underway following the UN Climate Change Conference, which runs to Thursday, May 18, 2017.

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