Global youth movement urges world leaders to take strong climate adaptation action

Ban Ki-moon, Amina Mohammed and Patrick Verkooijen take on youth demands ahead of COP27

R otterdam, the Netherlands, 5 September 2022 – Young people from around the world have launched a global youth movement for adaptation calling on world leaders to take urgent and bold action to adapt our world to the increasing impacts of the climate crisis.   
The “Youth Dialogue on Adaptation Action: Delivering on the Glasgow Climate Pact” was convened by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and its Youth Advisory Panel on 3 – 4 September in Rotterdam, just prior to the Africa Adaptation Summit.
The hybrid event brought together more than 1,000 young people from all over the world: 100 youth from 50 countries gathered in Rotterdam, while a thousand more joined online from around the world.
With climate-related disasters escalating in intensity, from dramatic floods in Pakistan to deadly heatwaves and droughts sweeping across continents, the young people demonstrated that they are taking the lead in making their communities more adaptable to these emergencies. They also delivered an unequivocal call on governments to adopt an ambitious policy regime and scale-up adaptation financing. 
The Dialogue offered youth an opportunity to discuss the Global Goal on Adaptation, established under the Paris Agreement, to exchange knowledge and share some of the best youth-led adaptation solutions from around the world.  
The Dialogue synthesized the conclusions from seven forums held across regions earlier this year into the #Youth4Adaptation Appeal. The document “is a call to action by young leaders to decision-makers to adapt our world to the cascading impacts of the climate emergency by providing an urgent, ambitious and robust response to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact”.
The #Youth4Adaptation Appeal contains four major asks from the youth to world leaders:

  • Promote education, capacity-building and upskilling of young people on climate adaptation.
  • Provide an inclusive and participatory environment for youth in climate adaptation decision-making processes.
  • Empower youth entrepreneurs and young professionals to advance the adaptation agenda.
  • Increase financing for youth-led adaptation initiatives through adapted and flexible funding mechanisms.

Members of GCA’s Youth Advisory Panel delivered inspirational remarks at the Dialogue, where an energizing intergenerational dialogue on the interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals and adaptation solutions and jobs took place.
Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, the Chief Executive Officer of GCA, met the youth delegates and committed to take-on their asks and present them to international leaders at the ensuing Africa Adaptation Summit and at the crucial UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. 
“We are in a climate emergency today and what we will see tomorrow will be exponentially worse. You are the generation that will be the most affected. I urge you to be more vocal on the adaptation agenda. Together we can lead the change for a climate-resilient world”. 
The 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and GCA Board Chair Ban Ki-moon and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed participated in the Dialogue and commended the young people’s determination to act on the climate adaptation agenda. Both leaders encouraged the young delegates to keep up pressure on their governments to deliver on their promises ahead of the ‘African COP27’ taking place in November. 
“I want to thank all of you for your support in raising your voice as young leaders for COP meetings, you are challenging the world leaders. For many years now, I have been asking young people all over the world to think of themselves as global citizens. Global citizens who use their talent for the good of common humanity,” said the former Secretary-General.  
“Somehow we’ve got to get the energy and we’ve got to get the message right. What is the message that will call leaders to act?…That they feel the challenge and I’d like to say sometimes the fear of not doing. Because there are billions, it’s not millions by the way, it’s billions, of people out there that are being affected by climate change, and it’s very real,” said Ms. Mohammed.  
COP27 Youth Envoy, Dr. Omnia El Omrani, and Youth and Education Expert from the United Arab Emirates, Ms. Shaemma Mebwana, also participated as speakers at the event.
Participants broke out into working groups to discuss issues relevant to adaptation and youth leadership in depth. On Saturday, they shared good practices in agriculture and food security, Nature-based Solutions for resilient infrastructure, water, climate finance and education. On the second day, they covered women’s empowerment, youth participation, locally-led adaptation, entrepreneurship and jobs for youth, and communications and advocacy.
About the Global Center on Adaptation
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions—from the international to the local—in partnership with the public and private sectors. Founded in 2018, GCA operates from its headquarters in the largest floating office in the world, located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Dhaka, Bangladesh and Beijing, China.
For media enquiries, please contact Gabriela Díaz, GCA Communications Officer,  
More information and resources about the Youth Dialogue on Adaptation Action are available here

Related posts: