We are collaborating with the Youth Sustainable Energy Hub!

Since its creation in 2011, the LEDS Global Partnership has been striving to work with young leaders to advance climate action. This year, the LEDS GP is bringing its engagement with youth to a new level.

The LEDS Global Partnership has become a network partner of the Youth Sustainable Energy Hub (YSEH) – a global platform for youth action on sustainable energy, powered by SDG7 Youth Constituency, in partnership with leading organizations like SEforAll, UNIDO, UNICEF, REN21, and others. The Hub showcases 98 youth-led projects in 53 countries around the world.

As a first point of collaboration, the LEDS Global Partnership has supported the YSEH Youth Capacity Building Webinar on March 24, 2021. With a total audience of 149 participants from 61 countries, this fourth part of the YSEH Webinar Series was a great success! Two speakers from the LEDS Global Partnership represented the network: Alexander Ochs, CEO of SD Strategies, and founding chair of the LEDS Energy Working Group, as well as Christopher Dekki from SLOCAT Partnership who supports the LEDS Transport Working Group.

Driving ambition through Communities of Practice

Alexander spoke about some of the capacity-building tools that the LEDS GP Energy Working Group has developed together with the regional platforms, and has successfully used over the last 10 years. In particular, he explained how to design and launch a Community of Practice. Communities of Practice are the key fora for technical work and peer-to-peer knowledge exchange at the regional level within the LEDS Global Partnership.

Alexander stressed the importance of an inclusive, member-driven experience to help decision-makers achieve what they are tasked with. Key enabling factors to build a successful community are a trustful environment, a strong conceptual framework, the capacity to “co-pilot” the conversation and to accept technical assistance requests, strong research and drafting capacities, and finally being able to analyze and disseminate results appropriately. Alexander gave examples from two vibrant communities of practice of the LEDS Global Partnership: the LEDS LAC Bioenergy and the Africa Mini-Grids Communities of Practice.

“The progress we have made on our path to creating climate-compatible, sustainable societies would not have been possible without the constant reminder of Youth that they will continue to live here when some of us will long be gone. They have made their demands very clear. Now is the time to listen to their solutions, and to empower them to make them real.”

Alexander Ochs

Engaging young leaders in sustainable transport

Following Alexander’s presentation, Christopher presented the LEDS Transport Working Group and its activities on global, regional and local levels. Christopher then continued by showcasing different opportunities of youth engagement in the field of transport, including the SLOCAT program “Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport”. Activities in this program are being implemented jointly with the LEDS Global Partnership. For example, students and the Partnership have been working on co-authoring five papers on COVID-19 green recovery efforts, which will be published on this website soon.

Next, Christopher elaborated on how SLOCAT included young researchers when writing the Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report 2020. Finally, Christopher invited the event attendees to join the Marrakech Partnership on Global Climate Action (MPGCA). The MPGCA is an action-oriented forum for multi-stakeholder engagement in the UNFCCC COP framework. Alongside the International Transport Forum (ITF) of the OECD, SLOCAT serves as a co-focal point for Transport in the MGCA.

“Progress on climate change and sustainable development requires a whole-of-society approach, where all segments of society, groups, and constituencies are able to influence policy and work with governments to catalyse action. Platforms like the Major Group for Children and Youth and its Youth Sustainable Energy Hub are essential to ensuring that present and future generations of young people have a means by which to impact global, regional, and local policy, especially when it comes to the most urgent and important energy-related issues.”

Christopher Dekki

Young leaders exploring opportunities engage in energy transition

In other inspiring presentations, a diverse group of speakers presented their work empowering young leaders for sustainable energy. Reem Korban presented IRENA’s Capacity Building Activities and illustrated how young leaders can benefit from it. Victoria Hatziargyriou shared her experience working with the Greenest! initiative that focuses on developing educational curricula on sustainability with the vision of transforming schools into permaculture centers. Noura Elatreby from RCREEE presented the Arab Program for Sustainable Energy Youth™ (APSEY), an internship program targeting young professionals and post-graduate students. The event closed with a presentation by Albin Paul of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Albin presented the Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) under IEEE, citing SIGHT’s vision: “Underserved around the world are able to benefit from technology as they seek sustainable solutions to development challenges”.

The YSEH Youth Capacity Building Webinar has been a major success. The LEDS Global Partnership is grateful of being part of this inspiring event. Together, we foster young leaders’ dedication and ownership of energy transformation and sustainable development more broadly. Both Alexander and Christopher emphasized the importance of collaborating with youth to drive ambition on climate action.

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Access additional resources from the event here.

By Clemens Limp, LEDS Global Partnership Secretariat