Youth Leads at International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum
The world needs a rapid energy transition which depends on building up a skilled workforce and unleashing the power of innovation. Young people are particularly well positioned to take up new energy and climate technologies, bring creative solutions to the table and advocate for change. To make use of their full potential in the energy transition and for youth to take over, the leadership supportive systems must be upscaled to educate, train and mentor youth to further develop their skills.
“Transforming the fossil fuel-based energy paradigm requires a breakthrough in how we think of youth engagement and deliver economic and social prosperity. When we look at existing energy policies and infrastructure, we observe a clear-cut asymmetry in the way different population groups are integrated into related planning and implementation processes, with young people being at the margins.”
– Melissa Tomassini, Youth Advisory Group Member
Under the umbrella of the International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum “solutions week”, Youth Solutions Days on 30 October – 1 November 2023 mobilized youth to actively engage in climate action and the energy transition, building up their competences, knowledge, network and self-confidence. Targeted activities for young women and girls also took place. The youth-focused event was co-organized with Sustainable Energy for All in partnership with the City of Vienna and the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
The entire event programme was designed for and by youth under the leadership of the Forum’s Youth Steering Committee to respond to the needs of young people and enable them to fully and meaningfully take part in the International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum, taking place the following two days.
“More support to youth driven solutions is required, especially in access to financial resources and institutional support to escalate their projects or bring their ideas to action.”
– Alejandra Valdivia, Youth Advisory Group Member
Kicking off on 30 October, youth representatives gathered at the campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business to look into the energy, environment and economics nexus. They engaged in lectures by leading academics and took part in interactive workshops on innovation, finance and delivery of Sustainable Development Goals.
“The IVECF is a significant milestone for youth this year prior to COP28, especially with the 3 dedicated youth solutions days in which young people can gain hands-on experience, engage in intergenerational dialogue and have their voices heard by policy-makers worldwide, as well as create strong networks and most importantly have fun!”
– Ramy Yacoub, Youth Advisory Group Member
On 31 October and 1 November, Youth Solutions Days moved to the Vienna International Centre for hands-on workshops on issues such as skills, financing, the gender and energy nexus, cooling and heating and clean cooking. Youth representatives also took guided tours of the City of Vienna to explore how it became a pioneer of green innovation.
“The IVECF is a great opportunity and critical moment for diverse stakeholder groups to gather and make progress in further engaging and empowering women and girls in the energy transition and its link with climate change.”
– Cathy Yitong Li, Committee Member, Women and Gender Constituency UN Climate Change
Meaningful Youth Engagement in Industrial Development
Youth voices and ideas need to be reflected in initiatives, projects and implementations by UNIDO, its partners and stakeholders. Addressing gaps in youth engagement in the context of energy, climate change and industrial development, this guidebook is co-authored by the Youth Advisory Group (YAG), and edited by nominees from the SDG 7 Youth Constituency and YOUNGO as well as UNIDO personnel. It is designed to empower young individuals, educators, policymakers and industry leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to engage and collaborate effectively with youth and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Read the Guidebook for Meaningful Youth Engagement in Industrial Development here.
Messages from Youth to Decision-Makers
At the Youth Solutions Days 2023, 150 young people from over 50 countries worked with experts and each other to create powerful calls to action in the areas of climate action and energy transition that are of special interest to youth. Read the calls to action from youth to decision makers.
IVECF Youth Advisory Group
The International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum is committed to championing youth mainstreaming to accelerate a just, inclusive, and sustainable energy transition. Building on the experiences and results of the very first youth event in 2021, a Youth Advisory Group (YAG) was launched to bring youth perspectives and solutions to the Forum.
The YAG created a Guidebook that compiles best practices and reflects on successful youth engagement in inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The Guidebook aims at encouraging organizations to do their part in meaningfully engaging with youth in the context of energy, climate change and industrial development.
Meet the Youth Advisory Group Members
These young women and men offer their time, expertise, skills and efforts to drive forward inclusive and sustainable industrial development and climate action.
The Youth Advisory Group was created through an open call for volunteers among UNIDO youth partners and UNIDO interns. The final composition aimed to reflect diversity of backgrounds, gender and ensure regional distribution.