A few days ago,Β Kevin Frey, CEOΒ Generation Unlimited, shared a mid-year update on GenU’s work. The title of his update, β€˜Preparing youth for the twin digital and green transition,’ inspired me deeply. As a part of GenU’s governance through the Young People’s Action Team, I couldn’t be prouder of our impact in equipping young people withΒ #SkillsRightNowΒ to protect their communities from the impact of climate change.

Recently, at the invitation of the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth I attended a training at theΒ United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)Β on Green Recovery, Futures Literacy, Climate Financing, Climate Advocacy and Sustainability. The experts drawn fromΒ The World Bank‘sΒ Climate Investment Funds,Β Michael Shank, Ph.D.,Β United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel – UNISS, reiterated the crucial role young people plan in achieving a green and just recovery from Covid-19.

As we commemorate this year’s International Youth Day themed ; β€˜Green Skills for Youth’, I would like to share the following reflections;

🌿 Green Recovery Financing: Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce 🌿

Green recovery financing provides a unique opportunity to support the creation of green jobs for young people. By allocating resources towards sustainable industries such as renewable energy, circular economy, and eco-tourism, we can ensure the economic empowerment of youth while simultaneously mitigating the impacts of climate change. Leveraging the power of digital platforms, data analytics, and connectivity, we can accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable solutions. This integration allows for more efficient resource allocation, enhanced monitoring, and real-time collaboration, ultimately driving the transition to a green economy.

🌍 Addressing Youth Unemployment: A Path to Economic Resilience

Youth unemployment remains a significant challenge in many parts of the world. Through digital platforms, remote work capabilities, and online learning platforms, we can provide young people with virtual employment opportunities, even in areas traditionally underserved by green sectors. Digital technologies also enable young individuals to access training programs, acquire new skills, and explore entrepreneurship, unlocking a world of possibilities for economic resilience and sustainable development. By prioritizing youth employment in green industries, we can tackle both the unemployment crisis and the climate crisis simultaneously.

🌱 Building Green Economies: Fostering Sustainable Development

Digital technologies play a crucial role in this transition to green economies by enabling innovative approaches to resource management, energy and sustainable practices. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain, we can create smart systems that optimize energy consumption, reduce waste, and promote circular economy principles. Young people, with their digital fluency and creative thinking, are at the forefront of this transformation, bringing fresh ideas and technological expertise to drive the shift towards a sustainable society.

🌿 Promoting Sustainability: Empowering the Next Generation

By incorporating sustainable practices into various industries, we can work towards a more resilient and environmentally friendly job market and economy. Digital tools and platforms enable young people to collaborate, share knowledge, and innovate on a global scale. They can develop and deploy digital solutions to address pressing environmental challenges, such as climate monitoring, resource management, and sustainable urban planning.

🌍 Conclusion: A Call to Action for Youth Practitioners and Decision Makers

By investing in green recovery financing, addressing youth unemployment, building green economies, and harnessing the power of digital technologies, we can empower the next generation to lead the way towards a green, just, and sustainable future.

Now, it’s our turn to take action. As youth practitioners and decision makers, we have the responsibility to amplify the voices of young people and support their initiatives. Let’s advocate for policies that prioritize sustainable industries, green job creation, and climate action. By providing mentorship, resources, and funding opportunities, we can empower youth to take the lead in developing and implementing innovative solutions.

Moreover, let’s collaborate across sectors and create platforms for knowledge exchange, networking, and collaboration. Together, we can foster partnerships between educational institutions, NGOs, governments, and businesses to create a comprehensive ecosystem that supports sustainable development and empowers young people.

Lastly, let’s leverage the power of social media and digital platforms to raise awareness and inspire action. Share success stories, engage in meaningful conversations, and encourage others to join the movement. Together, we can create a global community of youth activists, practitioners, and decision makers who are committed to building a sustainable future.

The time is now. Let’s harness the energy, passion, and creativity of young people to shape a world that prioritizes the well-being of both people and the planet. Together, we can empower the next generation to be the driving force behind a green, just, and sustainable future.


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