International Year of Youth - Fact Sheet - Youth and Climate Change

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Human activities, such as deforestation and fossil fuels use, contribute to climate change, which decreases the availability of nutritious food and clean water. This leads to malnutrition and ill health, rendering children and young people particularly vulnerable. Encouraging sustainable lifestyles, promoting the use of renewable energy sources and building adaptive capacity and resilience are some examples of actions that youth have undertaken to combat climate change. Strong social and environmental awareness further unite young people to negotiate with a single voice on a global level. Young people are considered an important stakeholder group in the United Nations system. They actively participate in advocacy, national adaptation and mitigation actions, along with international negotiations. For this reason, many UN system entities have dedicated climate change youth programmes and activities. A number of agencies have also developed youth-related initiatives linked to their mandates and areas of work. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been assisting in environmental climate change educational policy. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has been supporting the development of food security and climate change educational programmes and resources for rural farmer field and life schools. UNICEF has a Youth Climate Change Ambassador Programme and has developed the “Unite for Climate” online community for youth climate change action.

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