Approximately 200 youth representatives in Vietnam joined the event online. The event was attended by the UNDP resident representative in Vietnam, Caitlin Wiesen, and the COP26 president-designate, Alok Sharma, during his official visit to Vietnam.
|Vietnamese youth has submitted the fist special report titled “Youth for climate action in Vietnam” to COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma |
The special report titlled “Youth for climate action in Vietnam” was co-written by 20 young authors from diverse backgrounds, representing approximately 900 youth from the three regions of North, Central, and South Vietnam.
According to the report, youth face four major bottlenecks in undertaking climate action, including financial constraints; a lack of support from stakeholders; skills limitations; and technological limitations.
To unblock these bottlenecks, the report recommends 10 accelerators which include establishing a youth network for climate and launching a climate learning hub. These accelerators were incorporated into a roadmap towards COP26 and action goals for 2022-2025 to enhance the contribution from the youth to Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The dialogue with the COP26 president-designate offered the unique opportunity for the youth representatives to handover the special report to the president-designate in person, share their views on climate change, as well as discuss actions to advance the youth agenda in the lead up to the upcoming Global Youth Summit in Milan, Italy in September 2021 and the COP26 in Glasgow, UK in November 2021.
The youth representatives that participated in the dialogue also proposed innovative ways to strengthen youth’s role in the national and international climate agenda. Key discussion points also included Vietnamese youth’s mobilisation for the COP26 and beyond as part of the global momentum-building “Youth4Climate: Driving Ambitions” programme.
In her opening remarks, Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP resident Representative in Vietnam, noted, “Youth are a powerhouse of passion, creativity, and innovation. As recommended in the youth report, we invite all partners to join in aligning programmes and mechanisms to accelerate an enabling environment where youth can fully assume their role as agents of change for climate action.”
Echoing this view, Pham Van Tan, deputy director general of the DCC, also said,“Responding to climate change requires the efforts of all ministries, sectors, local agencies, businesses, individuals, and communities, among which the youth plays an essential role. Every action, even the smallest, has an immense impact, contributing to changing awareness and creating motivation for the participation of the whole society.”
The COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma sent a message to Vietnamese youth, stating, “This is a passionate report which speaks from the heart of youth, sets out some very clear ideas about what we ought to be doing together to tackle climate change. The future does indeed belong to young people around the world. That’s why it’s vital that your voice is heard loud and clear. This report is also one which speaks with passion – the passion of youth. Whatever policies world leaders come up with, whatever plan they have, they must always think of the planet first. Frankly, that’s also the message that comes through your report. It is the report that says pick the planet.”
Hoang Ngoc Xuan Mai, who is a lead author of the report, shared, “The co-authors and I are more excited than ever to push through the bottlenecks and enhance youth climate action in Vietnam. We see climate change not only as an existential threat but also as an accelerator for innovations. We invite everyone, no matter how old they are, to read the report and take bold actions for the planet.”
Khang A Tua, a Hmong youth climate leader who participated in the roundtable, also said, “Through discussions with stakeholders, we would like to affirm the importance of mobilising youth from every corner to respond to climate change in Vietnam with the right policies and capacity-building tools. As a first step, I am excited to see climate policy-makers, both national and global, willing to cooperate with young people in climate action.”