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These pages and sections capture news of climate change and stories about the groundswell of climate action by governments, companies, cities, the UN and civil society around the globe. To provide feedback, email us at press@unfccc.int Photo©Naziha Mestaoui

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This year’s International Youth Day has a special focus on Youth Civic Engagement and is a key opportunity to raise awareness about the need for youth to actively support sustainable development and climate action.

The day comes ahead of two major events this year: agreement on new sustainable development goals in New York in September and a new universal climate change agreement in Paris in December.

In a statement to commemorate the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said:

I applaud the millions of young people who are protesting for rights and participation, addressing staggering levels of youth unemployment, raising their voices against injustice, and advocating global action for people and the planet.

Young People Increasingly Concerned about Climate Change

Recent studies show that young people are increasingly concerned about climate change. According to a report published by Pew Research Center last month, youth in countries such as the US are significantly more likely to voice such concern than the older generations.

For the shift towards a sustainable world to happen fast enough, young people clearly need to be more vocal. UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres called on youth to raise their voices and become more engaged in society, politics and business in order to secure their futures:

We need you to step up to meet the climate change challenge by activating your network, extending your reach and raising awareness of the great risks we face but also of the great opportunity we have in addressing these risks. We need young people to be actively engaged in the transition to low-carbon, highly resilient lifestyles.

Youth Involvement Before and During COP 21 December

Youth will be able to debate and discover how to take more action just before the December UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at a major youth conference in Paris, the 11th Conference of Youth (COY 11, 26 to 28 November).

At the Paris UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21, 30 November to 11 December) youth delegates can get involved in the intergovernmental negotiating progress through a broad range of activities. Highlights are a Young and Future Generations Day on December 3rd, high-level youth briefings, and a number of events at a special UN Youth Booth.

Another great way to participate and to be creative is to take part in the Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change. Two winners will earn a trip to the UN climate change conference in Paris, where they will join the UNFCCC communications team as videographers and reporters.

You can learn more about youth participation in COP 21 Paris by visiting our Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) web pages.

To learn more about youth and climate in the context of the UNFCCC, our Youth Portal.

Photo credit for image at top of article: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras


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