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Expert Exchange: Youth empowerment for a just energy transition

Young people have an important role to play across many aspects of just energy transition, including employment, entrepreneurship, digitalisation, education, and advocacy. Their future is directly affected by the upcoming energy transition through the creation of new job profiles and professional training pathways; and their needs, opinions, fears and hopes should play an important role in dialogue and decision making.

However, young people have often been sidelined in discussions and decision making about the future of energy systems, just energy transitions and coal phase-out. Additionally, although the voices of young people are increasingly represented in discussions, there remains a prevalent perception that their inclusion is symbolic rather than substantive. 

Nevertheless, success stories of effective youth engagement for a just energy transition exist, and young people are proving to be a force for positive climate and energy action when they are engaged and empowered effectively. But what definitively needs to be done to amplify young voices and ensure their perspectives are heard in climate and energy dialogues and policy-making?  

The overarching objective of this Expert Exchange is to discuss how best to empower young people to play a pivotal role in driving just energy transition and coal phase-out. Bringing together stakeholders from different countries will facilitate discussions on the most effective ways to engage youth in a just energy transition and allow stakeholders to share best practices and recommendations for effectively implementing their engagement.  

Objectives of the Expert Exchange:

+ Provide an overview of best practices to empower and integrate young people in just transition processes 

+ Deliver concrete recommendations to ensure young perspectives are heard in climate and energy dialogues and reflected in policy-making 

+ Highlight how job profiles will change for future generations, what opportunities are part of the just energy transition, and how young people can be prepared for new training paths  

Speakers and topics:

Ivan Sergejev, Just transition process coordinator at the Estonian Ministry of Finance — Youth engagement in setting up a just transition in Ida-Virumaa – a case study

Nadia Combariza, Co-executive director of POL.EN Transiciones Justas — The Role of Colombian Youth Researchers in Crafting Equitable Post-Fossil Futures

Edwin Hlangwani, BRICS Young Scientist, University of Johannesburg, South Africa — Beyond Rhetoric: Youth-led Solutions for a Sustainable and Just Energy Transition in Developing Nations

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