#Youth4Adaptation Communiqué

High-Level Intergenerational Dialogue: Africa Driving Climate Adaptation Solutions & Jobs Communiqué

Y oung people from 135 countries around the world are calling on leaders to urgently scale up adaptation finance and to include young people in adaptation decisions and action. Presented at the Intergenerational Dialogue held in Nairobi on 4th September 2023 during the Africa Climate Summit, this Youth4Adaptation Communiqué presents the views of the global youth adaptation movement including young people from 51 African countries. These young people were consulted through five regional Youth Adaptation Forums, five Regional African Youth Consultations on Adaptation, and at the Africa Youth Climate Assembly. The message to decision-makers is clear: young people are critical partners in adapting our world, a vision which can become a reality by doubling adaptation finance by 2025. 

Why young people are calling for adaptation action 

The world’s youth population has never been as large as it is today, and almost one billion people are under the age of 35 on the African continent. Facing an increasingly uncertain future, young people play a central role in building climate-resilient development. When equipped with the right skills and knowledge, young people have the potential to improve economies and better protect their communities. 

The world is facing widespread climate breakdown as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally. 3.3 billion people worldwide are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with half the world’s population experiencing severe water scarcity during certain periods of the year. The African continent and its youth population are disproportionately affected by what has been referred to as ‘the era of global boiling,’ by the 9th UN Secretary-General. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to almost half of the world’s youth population, and the population is expected to reach 830 million people by 2050. 

Rapid and deep cuts to global emissions are urgently needed to prevent further losses and damages around the world and to secure a liveable planet for current and future generations. The major economies and those nations most responsible need to do more of their fair share and take urgent action to align their Paris climate targets for this decade within the 1.5°C goal before it is too late. 

Mitigation action must go hand in hand with a strengthened adaptation response. Protecting lives and livelihoods, adaptation action is pivotal in reducing people’s vulnerability, creating adaptive capacity and building climate resilience in communities. When done right, adaptation can ensure young people go to school in climate-resilient buildings, live in greener cities, and grow more resilient crops to feed a growing population. 

Countries urgently need to step up to deliver on doubling adaptation finance, as agreed upon at COP26. While at least 84 percent of countries have established adaptation plans, the financing required to make these plans a reality falls short. Adaptation needs are projected to rise to US$160-340 billion by 2030. To adapt our world, both the volume and variety of capital available for adaptation must significantly increase. 
We, young people from around the world, present the following key recommendations to decision-makers attending the Africa Climate Summit to create a greener, safer and more prosperous world for current and future generations: 

Double adaptation finance 

Double adaptation finance to meet adaptation needs and ensure its additionality, by: 

  • Ensuring continuous progress to deliver the promise made at COP26 to at least double adaptation finance by 2025 compared to 2019 levels. 
  • Providing adequate adaptation finance to locally youth-led adaptation actions. 
  • Ensuring youth-responsive adaptation investments including in strategy and planning documents such as National Adaptation Plans, Adaptation Investment Compacts and others. 

Entrepreneurships and jobs 

Promote economic growth while building resilience across sectors, by: 

  • Creating adaptation jobs for young people. 
  • Equipping young people with the entrepreneurial skills to develop adaptation solutions. 
  • Creating an enabling environment for adaptation entrepreneurships, through award programs and grants such as the YouthADAPT Challenge.

Youth participation in adaptation policies

Engage young people through participatory processes in adaptation policy-making at the international, regional, national and local level, by: 

  • Ensuring that the Global Goal on Adaptation decision to be adopted at COP28 in its preamble recognizes the critical role of young people to create a climate-resilient future and to encourage countries to promote youth participation in adaptation and establish partnerships with youth. 
  • Enhancing the awareness and capacity of young people to foster their involvement in National Adaptation Plans (NAP) and prioritizing youth in at least one activity related to each NAP phase in every country by 2030. 
  • Including young people in adaptation policy-making processes in all African countries, including by establishing formal mechanisms such as through local youth councils. 

Capacity-building and adaptation education 

Provide educational materials and capacity-building on adaptation to young people and raise awareness, promote behavioral change and prepare for the impacts of the climate emergency, by: 

  • Including adaptation as part of the curriculum at all levels of education to achieve adaptation literacy for young people, and ensuring access to adaptation information for young people and civil society. 
  • Design capacity-building materials to create adaptive capacity according to the local needs and circumstances made available in multiple languages, such as the Toolkit for Youth on Adaptation & Leadership
  • Engaging young people in the systems of research, monitoring, evaluation and learning of adaptation policies and implementation, and supporting their initiatives to raise awareness and train their communities. 

Young people are partnering for adaptation action 

We, young people are committed to partnering with governments, international organizations and other stakeholders to take these recommendations forward to COP28 and beyond to fulfil our vision of creating a climate-resilient world. By working together, we can include young people in the Global Goal on Adaptation, the world’s first collective commitment on adaptation, raise awareness to engage more young people from around the world in the adaptation agenda, and ensure that investments made today respond to the needs of current and future generations. 

Related posts: