Youth Engagement in UN Climate Change processes

Young people around the world are actively engaged in the effort to address climate change, leading and participating in a multitude of initiatives at the local, sub-national, national, and international levels. Their strong commitment to working on this issue has also motivated them to participate at international climate negotiations since the first sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (UN Climate Change). Civil Society is represented within UN Climate Change processes by nine constituencies: youth, women and gender, indigenous, business, and others.

Youth participation in the UN Climate Change process has steadily grown. In 2009, it had reached the level at which an official constituency was formed for youth NGOs. UN Climate Change recognized youth as an official constituency called “YOUNGO” (Youth + NGO). After two years operating under a provisional status, “YOUNGO” became fully recognized at COP17 in Durban, South Africa. YOUNGO has since served as both the official conduit for youth participation in the UN climate talks and as a global network of youth and youth-focused organizations that work on climate change and engage with UN Climate Change.

There are several ways YOUNGO engages in the UN Climate Change process, including through constituency submissions on various topics as and when called for by UN Climate Change, sending representatives to various UN Climate Change meetings throughout the year, engaging directly at COP and intersessionals.