Between 17-19 October, the UNDP Rome Center hosted the Youth4Climate: Sparking Solutions global flagship event in Rome, Italy. The event brought together 130 young people from 63 countries. Together, they presented 100 youth-led solutions shortlisted from among more than 1,100 project proposals in the first-ever Youth4Climate Call for Solutions. The objective of the call was to nurture innovative approaches to climate action and offer seed funding of up to US$20,000 for solutions in four areas: climate education, energy, food and agriculture, and urban sustainability.
The flagship event in Rome was an opportunity for finalists to pitch their projects in front of a selection panel and engage in peer-to-peer and cross-generational learning. On the last day of the event, 50 of the projects were awarded funding. In addition, the solutions will be supported with a learning offer to improve the skillset that young people need to drive the green transition. This will include mentorship programmes, peer-to-peer exchange opportunities and courses offered by partners such as the UN Global Compact.
As part of the collaboration with youth coming from different regions and from diverse backgrounds, the event also featured several youth-led sessions. A world cafe deep dive conversation gave participants a platform to explore the challenges and opportunities for youth-led climate initiatives and the importance of collaboration and partnerships. In addition, an open dialogue session gave participants the chance to reflect on the different aspects of climate justice, from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples or young people from conflict-affected contexts, while also exploring issues like gender equality, youth activism, the green transition and more.
Young people also had the opportunity to directly engage with and listen to keynote addresses from high-level United Nations officials such as the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina Mohamed, and UNDP’s Administrator, Achim Steiner, as well as high-level officials in the Italian government such as Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, Italy’s Minister of Environment, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, and Italy’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Francesco Corvaro.
Moving forward, the UNDP Rome Center will support all the winning solutions through a mentorship and capacity building programme to ensure their success and sustainability. A second Youth4Climate Call for Solutions will be launched at COP28 to bring more youth-led climate solutions to the forefront.
Youth4Climate (Y4C) is a global initiative, launched in May 2022, co-led by the Government of Italy and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The initiative has its Secretariat at the UNDP Rome Centre for Climate Action and Energy Transition. Y4C brings together existing and new online and offline resources, tools, capacities, partnerships, networks and movements led by and designed for youth, with a strong focus on the implementation of solutions, for a more sustained impact on climate on the ground. It aims to foster an inclusive, safe and enabling environment for youth to lead and partner with other stakeholders on climate action.
For further updates about the event and information on partner initiatives, check out the Youth4Climate platform.