PiA 2020: The Youth Engagement Plan—Bringing Youth Voices into NDC Planning and Implementation
“It’s important for countries to put young people at the heart of climate plans to ensure their knowledge, experiences, perspectives, and vulnerabilities in the face of climate change are integrated. Youth participation in climate action is already happening and will continue to increase in the coming years. This provides great momentum for youth to showcase climate actions, participate in decision-making, and call to increase commitments.” – Sara Cognuck, Costa Rica
The NDC Partnership emphasizes the importance of utilizing a whole-of-society approach when developing and implementing climate solutions, a process in which young people are a key stakeholder group. The Partnership facilitates increased youth engagement in NDC development and implementation processes, and engages young people more actively in the Partnership’s work.
In the Partnership’s first years, 17 countries requested support related to youth engagement.
Recognizing the importance of developing youth-related processes “with youth,” the Steering Committee requested the creation of a Youth Task Force (YTF) to develop the Youth Engagement Plan (YEP). Costa Rica and The Netherlands, Steering Committee Co-Chairs in 2019-2020, established the YTF with youth representatives nominated by Steering Committee members and by institutional and associate members with strong programmatic activities around youth and climate action. The YTF includes representatives from Costa Rica, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Pakistan, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Sweden, United Kingdom, UNDP, UNICEF, and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC). The YTF was co-chaired by the Costa Rican and Dutch youth representatives.
Between June and August 2020, the YTF led a consultation process with youth from around the world to identify priorities and obstacles for youth engagement in climate action. The YTF received 472 survey responses representing 82 countries. In parallel, NDC Partnership members were consulted on youth engagement. A total of 31 countries and 15 institutions were consulted with 53 percent affirming that youth engagement is an organizational priority. Based on the priorities, challenges, and opportunities for deeper youth engagement identified through the consultation process, the YTF proposed recommendations for the NDC Partnership to meaningfully engage youth going forward.
Four recommendations for engaging youth in NDC processes
1. Design youth-inclusive NDC processes from consultation to implementation
2. Develop youth-led NDC implementation projects
3. Build climate change capacity so young people develop skills to participate more meaningfully in climate action
4 Engage youth meaningfully in global NDC Partnership processes and decision-making