Youth and Climate Academy: Engaging in Climate Action for a Just Transition

The Academy allows participants to understand the main transversal themes related to the global context of climate change and the critical concepts associated with a just transition to a greener economy.

Engaging in Climate Action for a Just Transition” was the guiding theme for the first edition of the Youth and Climate Academy, which took place from 6 to 17 June 2022. The Academy was organized by ITCILO and ILO in cooperation with ITUC, IOE, and the COP27 Presidency. The Youth and Climate Academy was held fully online with around 90 enrolled participants from 44 countries.

Considering the critical role of future generations in shaping the course of action, the Academy put a special emphasis on the links between climate action, social justice and the world of work. In plenaries, skills sessions, group works and 1-on-1-meetings, the participants could learn from and exchange with over 50 experts from governments, international organizations, academia, workers’ and employers’ organizations, private sector, non-governmental institutions, and youth initiatives.

The Academy was conceived as a place for interactive and peer-learning and was characterized by a high level of personal engagement and knowledge-sharing by the participants. After this two-week training event, participants are better positioned to conceive and implement strategies towards a just transition, environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all, and the creation of green jobs. A second edition is expected to take place in 2023.

Introduction to the academy

Climate change affects our lives transversally. It is increasingly showing its effects on economies, businesses, livelihoods and jobs. The impact of climate change disproportionally hits young people. They will have to bear the largest share of the burden with substantial consequences on their professional careers and their social and natural environments. This makes it necessary and mandatory for young people to take a holistic view of sustainable development and the actions taken globally and locally.

To successfully shape a just and sustainable future, youth activists, graduate students, and young professionals require a profound understanding of the underlying causes and contributing factors to climate change and the resulting needs and impacts on the economy and the world of work. Developing young people’s competencies, analytical skills, and knowledge will allow them to play their role in supporting a rapid shift towards environmentally and socially sustainable economies. It will enable them also to make full use of the career opportunities this transition is offering.

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