As the impacts of climate change accelerate around the world, young people need the skills to adapt to these impacts to the greatest extent possible, and to be able to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The UN supports many initiatives to promote youth climate action, and showcases the work of leading initiatives at UN Climate Change Conferences. One such initiative is the Global Youth Climate Pact, which operates in 22 countries.
Global Youth Climate Pact is working towards getting decision-makers to incorporate climate change into all education policies. And it is raising awareness about the threat of climate change, along with showcasing exemplary projects that build resilience to climate change.
A good example is that of a group of Chilean school children in the town of Chincolco who have been helping to introduce farming practices that allow plants to grow without soil, just using nutrients and water – an important measure given that their region is increasingly threatened by hotter temperatures which is drying out agricultural land.
This is just one of the projects were recently presented at the “Congress of the Future” conference in Santiago, Chile, where students presented their climate projects to more than 500 participants, outlining climate action strategies that are either planned or are in the process of being implemented in their schools and communities.
“Students need access to education to provide them with a fundamental understanding of why climate change is important for them to be able to develop and implement innovative climate change adaptation strategies, that will have a positive impact in their communities,” said Alfredo Pena-Vega, the Scientific Director of the Global Climate Pact. “This is especially true in countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts, and where young people often live in remote areas with limited access to formal education.”
Other projects presented at the Congress of the Future were that of a school in Chile which monitored its CO2 emissions, and another school in the country which measured the acidity of the sea water. Among the international initiatives showcased were a waste management project in Nepal, and a project to train trainers of indigenous pygmy youth in the Congo region to better deal with the impacts of deforestation.
About the Action for Climate Empowerment Youth initiative of UN Climate Change
UN Climate Change strives for youth empowerment through its Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) initiative, which implements Article 6 of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. ACE promotes youth action all over the over the world and organises youth events before and during UN Climate Change conferences.
A joint report on youth climate action and the implementation of a roadmap will be presented at the UN Climate Change Conference COP24 in Katowice, Poland, in December of this year.
In addition, a Global Youth Action Plan for Climate is designed to bring young people from participating countries to the UN Climate Change Conference in 2020 with the opportunity to exchange experiences, and to show the results of their actions to other young people, as part of the secretariats’ Youth initiative.