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Accelerating Climate Action with Youth during 79th ESCAP Commission Session

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

YECAP Youth participated in the Side Event, “Acceleration of Climate Action: Engagement and Empowerment of Youth for the Future” during the 79th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

people in meeting room

On 17 May 2023, young climate leaders from the YECAP Climate Negotiators Training, led by UNFCCC, participated in the side event, “Acceleration of Climate Action: Engagement and Empowerment of Youth for the Future” during the 79th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific at United Nations ESCAP, Bangkok.

Organized by the United Nations Regional Coordination Mechanism for Asia-Pacific and its Issue-based Coalition (IBC) on Raising Climate Ambition, which includes: Environment and Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia-Pacific (UNFCCC/RCC Asia Pacific); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Asia and the Pacific; United Nations Children’s Fund East Asia and Pacific (UNICEF); United Nations Environment Programme for Asia and the Pacific; and Youth Empowerment in Climate Action Platform (YECAP), the side event was held in hybrid format where participants could join online from anywhere.

people in meeting room

Youth are the inheritors of the future and, when properly engaged, catalysts for innovative and driven actions in the present. As such, they are among the most crucial stakeholders for accelerating climate action both today and tomorrow.

As a region with a large youth population that is uniquely challenged and threatened by climate change, the Asia-Pacific region continues to focus their enhanced attention on engaging and supporting youth in the climate action arena, building off the pre-existing vibrant youth space that the region has to offer.

young person speaking in a meeting room

The Youth Empowerment in Climate Actions (YECAP) platform, for one, was convened in February 2021 to capitalize on the key strengths of convening partners and has expanded to include regional United Nations agencies.

Some of YECAP's activities are well-aligned with the objectives of the Issue-based Coalition (IBC) for “Raising Ambition for Climate Action in Asia and the Pacific.” These include opportunities for the youth to influence the development, implementation, and monitoring of climate change policies such as NDCs, LT-LEDS, and NAPs.

youth speaking in a meeting room

Youth from the region—when provided with a scope to engage—would be more involved in important international, regional, and national climate negotiations. Therefore, this side event aligned closely with the theme and function on the 79th Commission Session and adds further diversity and value to the event.

Moderated by Andrea Camponogaro, Global RCC Lead, UN Climate Change Secretariat, the side event began with opening remarks from Sangmin Nam, Director, Environment and Development Division, ESCAP Co-Chair of IBC on Raising Climate Ambition, followed by Mozaharul Alam, Regional Coordinator, Climate Action, UNEP ROAP Focal Point of UNEP, IBC on Raising Climate Ambition.

event participants

The main panel discussion comprised of Hyunjin Chang, ACE Team, UN Climate Change Secretariat who introduced ACE as a tool for engaging with young people; Fairda Malem, ACE Focal Point of Thailand sharing experience of engaging with Youth through ACE activities in Thailand; Dircia Sarmento Belo, National Mitigation Expert and Assistant TNA Coordinator, Timor Leste and Khuntsengel Ganzorig, Youth Representative from Mongolia bringing youth-inclusive climate action examples from their respective countries; YECAP Training Programme youth representative and Serena Bashal, YECAP Partner representative (UNICEF) sharing their experience from the lessons learned in the past two days, at COP27 and engagement at the Children’s and Youth Pavilions; and finally, Clarence Gio Almoite, Co-convenor of Asia Pacific Youth Environment Network (APYEN) sharing challenges around accessing Climate Finance by youth.

The session ended with closing remarks from Akiko Yamamoto, Regional Team Leader, Asia and the Pacific, for the Nature, Climate, and Energy Team of UNDP who emphasized on youth being a large part of UNDP's Climate Promise. And to help accelerate meaningful youth participation in Climate Governance and address youth rights, needs and aspirations, UNDP continues to partner with young people to deliver on the climate action ambitions.

event participants

All is all, this side event helped build the capacity of young leaders with knowledge and opportunities available in Asia and the Pacific for them to engage with. Participants discussed examples from the region on youth-inclusive climate governance strategies and actions where they could reflect on challenges and opportunities building on the YECAP Climate Negotiators Training Programme, led by UNFCCC and RCC Asia-Pacific, on 15-17 May 2023.

Moving forward, the United Nations agencies will keep on engaging in relevant climate events from national, regional and global levels to support young leaders in the lead up to COP 28.


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