According to UN Climate Change News, August 12, 2023Half of the world’s population is under the age of 30, and this number is expected to reach 57% by the end of 2030, the largest generation of young people in history. This year’s International Youth Day highlights the importance of developing green skills among young people to ensure a successful and just transition to a greener, more sustainable world that benefits everyone, including young people, equally.
Green skills include the technical knowledge, expertise and abilities to effectively utilize green technologies and processes in professional settings. They draw on a range of knowledge, values and attitudes to promote environmentally sustainable decision-making at work and in life. Although green competencies are relevant to people of all ages, they are even more important for young people because they can contribute to the ecological transition over a longer period of time.
As young people, one of the key challenges we face in accessing green jobs is the lack of clear career pathways and training resources, as well as the lack of guidance or support systems to develop green careers.
According to the International Labor Organization (International Labor Organization), 100 million jobs could be created through the transition to sustainable energy and a circular economy. However, some existing jobs are expected to become obsolete, and unless young people are provided with the necessary training and support systems, the benefits of the transition are unlikely to be geographically or demographically distributed.
The reality for young people around the world is diverse, but has much in common: more fragile living conditions, lower wages, more difficult emancipation, uncertainty about the near future, unequal access to higher education, etc.
A successful just transition requires addressing the challenges faced by young people in accessing opportunities to develop green skills and integrating these needs into national development strategies through enhanced policy coordination, social dialogue and cooperation.
It is also important to involve more young people in climate decision-making. We must consider young people as key stakeholders in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. It provides the tools to change the systems, attitudes and behaviors needed to transition to a just, low-emissions and climate-resilient world. Engaging youth in the fight against climate change is critical to creating a sustainable future.
There are many ways you can get involved and empower young people to take action. First, consider organizing educational events or workshops focused on climate change and its impact on the environment. This helps raise awareness and inspire young people to take action. In addition, young people are encouraged to participate in environmental activities such as community clean-ups or tree planting activities. Giving them the opportunity to make tangible changes can be incredibly empowering. Finally, consider forming a youth-led climate action group or club where young people can brainstorm and implement ideas to combat climate change. Remember, the power of young people lies in their creativity and enthusiasm.
Engaging youth in combating climate change is not only critical to solving global environmental problems, but also empowers youth to become active participants in shaping a sustainable future. By providing education, encouraging direct action and supporting their initiatives, we can unlock the potential of youth and build a collective movement that makes a real impact on our planet.
Project Assistant, Uganda Environmental Governance Institute
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