Youth Education
and Adaptation Jobs

Climate change is disproportionately affecting the lives and livelihoods of young people today. There are currently 1.21 billion young people aged 15-24, making this youth population the largest in history. Around 87% of young people live in developing countries, which are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Most of those young people will join the labor market by 2030, where they will face both unemployment and underemployment.

GCA is harnessing the enthusiasm, energy, and innovation of young people to mobilize the next generation of adaptation leaders around the world. We empower young people to make the case for adaptation on the global stage and make their communities more climate resilient by:

Contact Info

For more information, or to get involved, please contact:

Aramide Abe

Program Lead, Jobs for Youth & Entrepreneurship

Adriana Valenzuela

Program Lead, Youth Leadership & Education

Goal for 2025

Support one million youth with entrepreneurship skills and create five million adaptation jobs through investments from international financial institutions worth over $2 billion

Scaling up innovation for climate action

The African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge (YouthADAPT Challenge) is an annual competition and awards program that supports youth-led enterprises with innovative climate adaptation and resilience solutions. The program aims to empower young innovators by equipping them with customized business skills and resources to scale their climate adaptation innovations and promote creation of adaptation jobs.  The Challenge targets youth-led and youth-owned enterprises (ages 18-35) with a goal of achieving a 50% gender mainstreaming representation. 

Selected enterprises are awarded grants of up to $100,000 to fund their scaling efforts, accompanied by comprehensive business and technical support though a 12-month accelerator and mentorship program. Two cycles have been successfully held to date, providing support to 33 enterprises from 19 countries across Africa.

The YouthADAPT winners are at the forefront of leading adaptation solutions in various sectors including, including agriculture, waste management, digital solutions, energy. The range of adaptation solutions developed by these entrepreneurs exemplifies the potential of youth-led entrepreneurship in creating adaptation jobs and safeguarding communities against the severe impacts of climate change.

Key partners:

Mainstreaming adaptation jobs in investment projects

GCA focuses on mainstreaming climate adaptation into the job creation and agriculture projects of international financial institutions through labor market assessments, adaptation curriculum design, and capacity building. GCA’s interventions also equip young people with the knowledge and skills required to pursue job opportunities and develop climate adaptation solutions.


Building the Youth Adaptation Movement

GCA is connecting and empowering young people to lead the youth adaptation movement and make the case for adaptation.

Youth Adaptation Forums

Young people can accelerate adaptation actions and enable effective and just adaptation policies. In 2024, GCA and the CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel are organizing six Youth Adaptation Forums based upon thematic priorities identified by young people to build the global adaptation movement, raise awareness on adaptation and foster knowledge transfer on adaptation solutions. 

CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel

The CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel is a 12-member group of young climate adaptation leaders from across the world, who provide strategic advice on youth engagement to drive the adaptation agenda to Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, the Chief Executive Officer of GCA.

Youth Adaptation Network

The Youth Adaptation Network (YAN) is an umbrella platform to engage, empower, and amplify the role of young people in the adaptation agenda. The network brings together young people from around the world to connect young leaders, translate knowledge into action, and advocate for accelerated adaptation from the local to the international level. The YAN involves more than 11,000 people in 144 countries from all global regions.

Youth Factsheets

To empower young people to drive the adaptation agenda, they must be well-informed about the urgency of adaptation, the vulnerabilities and risks posed by climate change, and the benefits of successful adaptation action. These factsheets present topics from GCA’s flagship State and Trends in Adaptation reports, tailored to young people.

Promoting Youth Participation in Decision-Making Processes

GCA promotes youth participation in decision-making processes at the international, continental, and national levels to drive the adaptation agenda.

Shaping the Global Goal on Adaptation

Advancing National Adaptation Plans

Including young people in designing, formulating, and implementing adaptation policies is essential to ensure equitable and socially just adaptation actions. To date, 44 countries have submitted their National Adaptation Plan to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 17 of which are African countries. Following worldwide consultations, GCA presented a guide on Youth Engagement with National Adaptation Plans at COP28.

Delivering Adaptation Education and Capacity-Building

GCA is developing training materials and educational content as well as scaling up capacity-building for educators and teachers to build the adaptive capacity of future generations.

Toolkit for Youth on Adaptation & Leadership

GCA and CARE Climate Justice Center, with the support of NORAD, have developed the Toolkit for Youth on Adaptation & Leadership in partnership with 40 youth organizations across Africa. The toolkit will empower young people across Africa to have their say in adaptation policies, decisions, and action.

Cultivating Young Women Leadership

Online Executive Training – Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation

The Online Executive Training – Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation is a virtual educational and capacity-building program that responds to the climate crisis by elevating the leadership of young African women. The 20-week long comprehensive training program is tailored to young African women in influential roles leading and advocating for sustainable solutions, and building resilience to the changing climate, in Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Senegal, Cameroon, and Morocco.

Key partners:

Reports and Factsheets

Factsheet for young people: Urban Development and City Resilience

Climate risk assessments can help decision-makers understand the climate risks associated with current and future urban development, and identify, prioritize, and implement low-cost actions. This factsheet is part of a series that presents information from GCA’s flagship reports State and Trends in Adaptation in Africa 2021 and 2022.

26 October 2023

Toolkit for Youth on Adaptation & Leadership

This Toolkit for Youth on Adaptation & Leadership equips young people with the knowledge and skills to engage in climate adaptation policy, advocacy and action.

29 August 2023

Factsheet for young people: Locally Led Adaptation

Over 60 percent of the population are smallholder farmers and over 55 percent of the urban population live in informal settlements in Sub-Saharan African countries. Therefore, LLA holds the promise of unlocking variegated responses to highly localized risks in contexts marked by deficits in formal governance machinery. 

5 June 2023

Youth Climate Adaptation Action Day

12 October 2024


NAP Expo 2024: Consultation on Youth Engagement with National Adaptation Plans

23 April 2024

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Youth Adaptation Forum on Climate-resilient Agriculture

22 April 2024


Youth Adaptation Forum on Water

22 March 2024


Youth Adaptation Forum – Invest in Women: Accelerate Climate Adaptation Progress

8 March 2024


COP28 – Rewired Summit: The Role of Education in Building a Climate-Resilient Development in the 21st Century

8 December 2023

Conference Connect Center, Dubai City Expo, United Arab Emirates

Launch of the YouthADAPT Challenge Report and Alumni Network

4 December 2023

Children & Youth Pavilion, UNFCCC COP 28, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Youth4Adaptation: Building a Climate-Resilient Future

3 December 2023

COP28 Children and Youth Pavilion, Blue Zone, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Youth4Adaptation: Young People Shaping the Global Goal on Adaptaion and the Global Stocktake

27 November 2023

Room A – Abu Dhabi, Conference Connect Center, Expocity, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

High-Level Intergenerational Dialogue: Africa Driving Climate Adaptation Solutions

4 September 2023

Wangari Maathai Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

African Youth Consultations on Adaptation

25 August 2023


MENA Youth Adaptation Forum

11 August 2023

Virtual in the MENA region

Foro de Adaptación de Jóvenes de las Américas

30 May 2023


Asian Youth Adaptation Forum

26 April 2023


Harnessing the power of youth in National Adaptation Plans

29 March 2023

NAP Expo 2023, Santiago de Chile

Pacific Youth Adaptation Forum

22 March 2023


Learning Laboratory: The Importance of Young Women Leadership for Adaptation Action 

8 March 2023


Driving Climate Action: The Central Role of Youth and Universities

11 December 2022

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Youth Driving Ambition for Climate Adaptation through transformative innovations and leadership

12 November 2022

Youth Pavilion, Sharm El-Sheikh

Youth4Adaptation: Young People Shaping the Global Goal on Adaptation

12 November 2022

GCA Pavilion, Sharm El-Sheikh

Contact Information

For more information on this program, or to get involved, please contact:

Aramide Abe

Program Lead, Jobs for Youth & Entrepreneurship

Adriana Valenzuela

Program Lead, Youth Leadership

Other Programs