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How Will COP26 Decisions Affect Youth and Jobseekers
How Will COP26 Decisions Affect Youth and Jobseekers
Vedant Kulkarni
By Vedant Kulkarni
Dec 02 2021 · 2 min read

Illuminem Voices

1. Personally, as an integral part of the UNFCCC youth constituency (YOUNGO), I was a part of the organizing team behind the Conference of Youth (COY16), which aggregated 40000+ youth voices from 140+ countries to produce a policy recommendation document: Global youth Statement (GYS). I delivered the GYS to 120+ Heads of States/Governments at the World Leaders Summit. Furthermore, I advised 400 young delegates from 193 countries to participate in a special pre-COP 26 session called "Youth4Climate," which produced a youth manifesto in Milan in September.

The CP.26 Decision said:

"66. Expresses appreciation for the outcomes of the sixteenth Conference of Youth, organized by the constituency of children and youth non-governmental organizations and held in Glasgow in November 2021, and the "Youth4Climate2021: Driving Ambition" event hosted by Italy in Milan, Italy, in September 2021;."

The COP26 presidency keenly included the suggestions mentioned both in the GYS and Youth Manifesto, which was a sign of increasing youth participation. The appreciation and implementation of these efforts indeed made this a distinctive COP for the Youth.

2. The COP26 decision also included a part of the youth paragraph (as recommended by the YOUNGO) saying: "67. Urges Parties and stakeholders to ensure meaningful youth participation and representation in multilateral, national, and local decision-making processes, including under the Convention and the Paris Agreement;

68. Invites future Presidencies of the Conference of the Parties, with the support of the secretariat, to facilitate the organization of a youth-led climate forum for dialogue betweenParties and Youth, to be held in conjunction with the sessions of the Conference of the Parties, in collaboration with the UNFCCC children and youth constituency and other youth organizations to contribute to the implementation of the Glasgow work program on Action for Climate Empowerment;

This indeed was a great success that set the way for Youth to be included in decision-making processes and was unprecedented.

3. Although youth washing was evident several times when it came to giving Youth the voice in decision making, a historical win came in the form of the Youth getting a seat on the advisory board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (a UNFCCC Constituted body).

4. In terms of jobseekers, we should not be worried about job losses in the near term. There are more opportunities for job creation than there will be losses from the decisions evident at COP26. However, there will be job losses in the coal sector in the long term, but not likely to happen before 25-30 years from now. Many of the currently employed workers would retire by then. Hence a well-thought-out plan for supporting the rest in the final stages of their work-life and ensuring that their children are educated and trained to be gainfully employed in other professions is critical. Jobs in the Clean Energy, Innovation, technology, local implementation, HR, and even policy advising can be expected to rise as we see the pledges made to come converted into reality.

Future Thought Leaders is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of rising Energy & Sustainability writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of Illuminem.

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Vedant Kulkarni
About the author

Vedant Kulkarni is the UNFCCC representative for India at COP26 and has a passion for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

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