The intensification of extreme weather events and climate change represents major threats to the well-being of youth, especially in developing countries. At the same time, young people are at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness, promote sustainable lifestyles, and take action on developing and implementing environmentally-friendly practices. The CTCN has increasingly engaged young people in its technology work over the last few years, with the goals of offering both technology services to youth and providing young people with a platform from which to share their insights and experience with climate change technologies.
The CTCN has continued to engage with the UNFCCC youth constituency, YOUNGO, on enhanced collaboration. By offering opportunities for learning and mutual exchange of knowledge and experiences, such as through highlighting the work of youth innovators and co-creation of articles, publications and webinars, the Centre supports youth engagement in climate action while building important inter-generational bridges in support of transformative technology solutions.
In 2020, the CTCN also launched the Youth Climate Innovation Labs and Academy in Africa and Asia which provided young people with training and tools to develop solutions to various climate change challenges. In 2021, the Youth Climate Innovation Lab and Academy was implemented the Latin American region.
“It is very important to support young people to engage in climate action, and this programme provides them with the tools and diverse partnerships to create solutions. This programme has been a big success in different regions, and it has challenged the youth to think outside of the box and co-create ideas for climate mitigation and adaptation solutions aligned with countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),” noted Dr. Rose Mwebaza, CTCN Director.
The Climate Innovation Labs is a fast paced three-day online event that brings together selected youth participants as well as climate technology experts within the selected sectors and technology fields in the region to explore innovative design thinking tools, flexing their entrepreneurial muscles and creating solutions for enhanced climate action. At the end of the Climate Innovation Labs, the selected participants are provided follow-on support to implement and scale selected solutions through a 6-8 week Climate Innovation Academy Programme delivered by the CTCN partner SAFEEM.