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“Mission 1.5 helps young people to get access to the information they need to learn about the climate crisis. It provides important resources designed specifically for young people, and highlights specific and tangible actions people of all ages can take every day to help ensure a greener future.”

Jayathma Wickramanayake
(Sri Lanka), UN Secretary -
General’s Envoy on Youth

“Climate change is real, it’s happening. We should be more worried about its consequences because it’s not just about our future, but that of our children and our children’s children. We can’t turn a blind eye to it anymore. Let’s fight for the future we want.”

Darren Espanto,
Youth Advocate of
UNDP Philippines

“The climate crisis is a threat to human life. We are so ingrained in the capitalism of taking profit as the central goal, that we forget that the central goal is, has always been and will always be life. Climate Justice is Socio-environmental Justice.”

Paloma Costa (Brazil),
UN Secretary General’s
Youth Advisory Group on
Climate Change

Youth involvement in COP meeting

Young people (YOUNGO and other local youth organisations) are involved in Conference of Parties on Climate Change, also known as the COP. This is a climate change conference where the world come together to discuss how to address the problem collectively and urgently. Young people also organize the Conference of Youth (COY) before the annual COP which brings together young people from around the world who are passionate about addressing climate change and promoting sustainable lifestyles. It enhances the exchange of experiences, knowledge and good practices to strengthen the international climate movement and involve next generations in developing climate solutions and actions.

In 2019 COP, UNICEF’s event ‘We Dare: Children and Youth vs the Climate Crisis’ reinforced the need for climate change negotiations and commitments to integrate a focus upon protecting children and young people’s rights. Over 350 children, authorities and global leaders attended, and 10 champion governments, UNICEF, YOUNGO and other youth organizations launched a Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action. This was based on inputs from young people to have signatory governments commit to accelerating inclusive, child-responsive climate policies (i.e. policies that protect, respect and fulfill the rights of children and young people, and ensure their participation in the decisions that affect them). Countries that have signed the declaration included: Chile, Costa Rica, Fiji, Luxembourg, México, Monaco, Nigeria, Peru, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain and Uruguay.

Youth as agents of change

Sittie Asia Mangompia Mai is a teacher and entrepreneur from the Maranao Tribe in the Philippines on the Southern island of the province of Lanao del Sur. She was witnessing people in her community losing their livelihoods through armed conflict and extreme poverty. So she decided to do something and founded Mushroom For a Change, an Indigenous youth-led social enterprise. The enterprise uses farmers’ rice straw waste - a byproduct of rice production – to design fruiting bags suitable for mushroom cultivation. By using the bags, people can now cultivate mushrooms to earn money, practice of burning is no longer necessary and people especially women and young people can work from home (read full story).

This was supported by YES2SDGs, a joint undertaking of UNDP, UNFPA, and ILO and the Youth Co:Lab, co-created by UNDP and the Citi Foundation.

Here are some great initiatives from our Mission 1.5 partners to act now!

Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth’s Youth4ClimateLive Series is where you can register to be part of the discussion towards Pre-COP and COP26. Join an intergenerational and interactive virtual conversation between policy makers and unstoppable youth at the forefront of creative climate action.

UNICEF’s Have Your Say initiative will allow you to take more actions on climate change and act now with 6 actions you can take! To start with, also read the guidelines on adolescent participation and civic engagement in Engaged and Heard! Guideline and learn about how to Build Back Better from Covid-19.

UNESCO and UNEP’s YouthXchange Guidebook on Climate Change and Lifestyle can give you some ideas on how to develop skills to take action on climate change. There are series on Biodiversity and Lifestyles, Green Skills and Lifestyles and Responsible Consumption too.

UN Volunteers provide many types of volunteer opportunities to young people and beyond, including the Youth Volunteer.

UNDP’s SparkBlue Dashboard on Youth is a space to get involved in conversations and learn more about young people in development and peace, including through climate action such as NDC Support Programme and Climate Promise.