Advocating with Young People for a Just Transition to Net Zero
Empowering Youth Through Green Skills and Opportunities for a Sustainable and Equitable Future
The recent Generation Unlimited trip to Sharm El Sheikh showcased the inspiring leadership of young people leading the charge for climate action and a transition to net zero.
As we witness the tireless efforts of the next generation in the fight for climate action and a transition to net zero, it's important that we all consider our own role in supporting these efforts.
We know that in order to create a more sustainable and equitable future, it is essential for youth around the world to have access to green skills and jobs.
This not only helps us reach our goal of net zero emissions, but also has the potential to reduce inequality and address youth unemployment. By providing young people with the right green skills, they can take on roles as innovators, employees, entrepreneurs, and agents of social change in the green transition.
Launching the Green Jobs for Youth Pact and the PwC-UNICEF-GenU Skills Report
Creating access to green skills and jobs requires expert partners to join forces. That’s why, at COP27, we officially launched the Green Jobs for Youth Pact, our joint initiative with ILO and UNEP, to consolidate efforts across sectors. A reception hosted by LinkedIn was an opportunity to particularly invite private sector partners to join and invest in a green future powered by youth. LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue endorsed the Pact, calling on many more private sector firms to join!
A high-level side event, moderated by our Young People’s Action Team (YPAT) member Vicky Aridi, was another opportunity to rally support from the governments of Argentina, India, Germany, UAE, and UK, along with the European Trade Union Confederation and the International Organization of Employers.
This event was also a key moment for PwC, UNICEF, and GenU to launch The net zero generation: Why the world needs to upskill young people which highlights how the upskilling and reskilling of youth is critical for a just green transition.
Celebrating Young Changemakers
Young people have the solutions needed to protect their communities and the planet – at COP27’s first-ever Children and Youth Pavilion, we announced the twelve winning youth teams of our latest imaGen Ventures social entrepreneurship and innovation challenge. Thanks to Per Heggenes from IKEA Foundation for joining us in this showcase of youth initiatives – their grassroots innovations received a shoutout in AFP News.
We also had the opportunity to witness 20 young African entrepreneurs being awarded US$2M to scale their green ventures for climate adaptation at the African Development Bank’s High-level Youth Adapt Awards Ceremony. GenU is a proud supporter of green ventures across the continent through our partners, such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
We are proud of our Young People’s Action Team members and celebrity ambassadors of GenU Egypt, Shabab Balad, who worked to shape the discussions at COP27. Amal Ridene was part of the delegation of the Tunisian Government in the negotiations for the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Calvin Shikuku, Kenyan green entrepreneur, and Jean Claude Niyomugabo, entrepreneur and agri-influencer from Rwanda, shared their journeys as entrepreneurs, influencers and GenU green program co-developers.
Partnerships for skills to unlock green opportunities
GenU’s Global Volunteer Initiative and imaGen Ventures – both of which include an emphasis on youth-led climate action – were featured as breakthrough solutions in an event organized with Future Economy Forum, Sekem, the Climate Governance Commission, Aga Khan Foundation, Brookings Institute, Dubai Cares, GenU, GPE, Lego Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and UNESCO, which outlined the investment case for making education and skills training a priority in addressing the world’s climate crisis.
On the sidelines of COP27, Shabab Balad also held its first Advisory Board Meeting co-chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator as well as Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation and new Global Leadership Council (GLC) member HE Dr. Rania Al- Mashat. The focus of this session, attended by representatives from the Egyptian government, Microsoft and USAID Egypt, was on advancing green skills and livelihoods alongside youth-led climate action with Egypt as host of COP27.
Education and skills training are a priority to address the climate crisis – the central theme for COP28 and a nexus highlighted by GenU Board Member and Dubai Cares CEO HE Dr. Tariq Al Gurg. As GenU gears up to unlock more opportunities for youth, particularly in the green sector, we look forward to continuing conversations and strengthening partnerships on this critically important topic.