We are in a critical decade for climate action, and we know that empowering young people around the world to lead and implement climate solutions will be essential to ensuring that the energy transition prioritizes both rapid decarbonization and global equity. At Student Energy, we see young people developing innovative solutions to complex energy challenges in their communities on a regular basis, even as they grapple with a global pandemic, pursue higher education, and build their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We are encouraged to see Mission Innovation’s ongoing efforts to engage young people, and hope to see stronger commitments from governments and energy leaders around the world to invest in youth-led solutions.
In 2019, Student Energy brought a global cohort of young leaders to the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial and 4th Mission Innovation Ministerial, and we saw firsthand what young people bring to the table – here’s a quick recap of what we learned:
- Intergenerational collaboration: Recognizing that CEM/MI’s member countries are operating in diverse political and economic contexts, youth delegates sought to find common ground across geography and across generations. Delegates advocated for intergenerational collaboration and the importance of co-creating solutions, as young people will be most affected by decisions made in spaces like CEM/MI, and because young people can be powerful allies in building public support for climate action.
- Systems thinking: CEM/MI’s youth delegates are keenly aware that transitioning the energy system involves more than switching technologies, as they discussed solutions for every part of the energy system, from production to transport to end use. Delegates also raised important issues around gender and racial equity, economic access, and climate justice, and emphasized that clean energy solutions must also be just and equitable.
- Raised ambition: Echoing their peers around the world, the young leaders’ delegation conveyed the need to implement solutions that match the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, and urged their energy leaders to take bolder action.
A full recap of the CEM/MI Young Leaders Forum is available here.
As we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Mission Innovation, Student Energy is looking forward to supporting and working together in the coming years to reach our shared goal of a sustainable and equitable energy future for all.
About Student Energy:
Student Energy is a global youth-led organization empowering the next generation of leaders who are accelerating the transition to a sustainable, equitable energy future. We work with a network of 50,000 young people from over 120 countries. Through core programs like Chapters, the Leaders Fellowship, and Greenpreneurs, Student Energy empowers young people with the skills and networks they need to be systems-level critical thinkers who can take action on complex energy challenges in their local communities, and in their academic and professional careers. Student Energy also creates space for young people to act within decision-making institutions by working with governments, companies, and organizations to identify how they can meaningfully engage young people in their work.