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Student Energy at COP26 Recap

Student Energy at COP26

This year’s UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, took place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31st to November 12th. The main aim of the conference this year was for countries, Parties to the Paris Agreement, to submit more ambitions Nationally Determined Contributions to rapidly reduce emissions, and to increase the ambition of national and international climate action overall. Student Energy aimed to bring a diverse global youth delegation to the conference, with the goal of advocating for young people to be meaningfully included in decision-making, and for mobilizing finance to support youth-led work.

Here’s a recap of our activities:

November 11:  Meredith Adler on the New York Times Climate Hub

Meredith Adler joined Apolitical C.E.O Robyn Scott, HALO Urban Regeneration Founder Marie Macklin, Danone C.E.O Emmanuel Faber, and Project InsideOut Founder Renée Lertzman for a New York Times Climate Hub Panel Green Upskilling: The Next Generation of Climate Skills and Leadership.

In the panel, Meredith discussed what skills are required for advancing climate action, and what are organizations doing to develop them. If deployed properly, how much of a difference can this upskilling actually make?

“We’re hearing governments and others talk about, “oh good news, this policy is going to produce x amount of jobs.” You know, the IEA says the energy transition will result in about 55 million jobs when you look at all of it together, but really very few people are focused on skill building. There’s lots of announcements around the money for deployment, but not around who will be the deployers. 

The thing that [Student Energy] works to do is how do you do training at a scale that’s globally applicable. We work really hard on teaching problem-solving skills, teaching deployment skills, and the things that people need to know in order to be able to learn and culturally adapt to what needs to happen.” — Meredith Adler, Executive Director, Student Energy

November 10: COP Resilience Hub: Latin American findings from GYEO

Student Energy hosted a dynamic session sharing the perspectives of 5000+ Latin American and Caribbean youth from the Global Youth Energy Outlook, which surveyed over 40,000 youth around the world. The panel discussed how the energy transition can be made possible in a diverse and challenging region such as Latin America.

November 5: Women Leading on Climate

Student Energy supported Catherine McKenna, former Minister for Environment and Climate Change in Canada, in launching the Women Leading on Climate initiative. The effort seeks to recognize the leadership of women and girls in advancing progress on climate action in communities around the world, broaden the network of women and girls engaged in discussions around the environment and climate change, and raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and girls globally and discuss innovative solutions and share best practices.

On Friday, November 5th, during COP26’s Youth and Public Empowerment Day, women and girls from around the world flooded COP26 with videos on social media using the hashtag #WomenLeadingOnClimate. This included videos from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Stanford University Managing Director Alicia Steiger, and women, girls, and gender minorities from around the world who are acting on climate.

“Student Energy has a network of over 50,000 youth, half of whom are young women. We know how important it is to provide the funding, coaching and skills training they need to lead on energy and climate solutions. We look forward to continuing to partner with Women Leading on Climate to make sure the next generation of climate leaders is ready to implement the solutions we need and curb the impact of climate change on women globally.” — Meredith Adler, Executive Director, Student Energy

November 5: Breaking Barriers for Youth to lead on SDG7

Breaking Barriers for Youth to Lead on SDG7 was a side event at the SDG 7 Pavilion hosted by Student Energy and featuring UNDP Youth Focal Point for Energy and Community of Practice Facilitator on Energy, Caroline Tresise.

“We’re not only underrepresented, we’re underestimated. If we want to achieve #SDG7 we have to build capacity for youth”

– Eduarda Zoghbi 

November 5: Energy Empowering Employment

Student Energy’s Executive Director Meredith Adler was a speaker on Power for All’s panel at the SDG 7 Pavilion #PoweringJobs and scaling the Distributed Renewable Energy sector. The panel featured industry experts from GOGLA, Student Energy and CEEW. Through a facilitated dialogue, informed by the Powering Jobs study Power for All, aims to change the limited understanding of job opportunities within DRE.

“The sector is changing so fast that the main thing you can learn is how to learn.” –Meredith Adler, Executive Director, Student Energy

November 4: GYEO Launch

Student Energy launched the Global Youth Energy Outlook (GYEO) report on November 04, 2021. Featuring global and regionally specific insights collected from 40,000+ young people globally, the GYEO is a powerful data-backed advocacy tool for both youth advocates and decision-makers.

Youth are calling for leaders in all sectors to move beyond tokenism and engage with youth through equitable and meaningful partnerships. How can decision-makers work with youth to accelerate climate action and the sustainable energy transition? The Global Youth Energy Outlook presents insights on what young people envision for their energy future and how they want to work with decision-makers to get there.

The launch event broke down key insights from Student Energy’s youth-led research, and includes a tangible guide for decision-makers on how to work with young people in an equitable way. 

The GYEO Launch event featured an intergenerational and global lineup of speakers who outlined how the GYEO can be effectively mobilized at the grassroots level, within government institutions, and in the energy sector: Featured speakers included:

  • Student Energy’s youth Regional Coordinators who have been leading this research in their regions throughout 2020 and 2021
  • Representatives from several national governments, including Canada, Denmark, and Sweden
  • Representatives from companies in the energy sector, such as DNV

“Just look at us, young people coming together from every region to engage over 42,000 of our peers to show what young people globally want from a sustainable energy future” – Arsenii Kirgizov-Barskii, Regional Coordinator for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Watch the livestream recording.

Discover the emergent findings from the report.

November 02: A business-Led Climate Resilience Initiative: Turning Aspirations into Action

November 02: BBC Scotland Debate Night: COP26 Special

All of COP:SDG 7 Pavilion for the People and for the Planet at COP26