Young people – defined in this research as people of ages 10-24 years – are already having to cope with the impacts of climate change and global heating, with unequal impacts on young women, girls, the urban poor and other marginalised and minoritised young people. However, young people are also active agents of change and have demonstrated the capacities and agency to advocate for and contribute to climate action and resilience-building. Yet, despite the proven capabilities of young people, structural barriers and normative beliefs too often fail to recognise their rights and agency to participate beyond a tokenistic level.
While a lot of attention has been given to the efforts of young people in the ‘Global North’, the work in parts of the world where climate impacts are being disproportionately felt should not be overlooked and be given more resources and support. Young people make up a large proportion of LMIC populations and so their engagement and participation in climate action and decision-making is crucial for inter- generational climate justice and broader social equity.
This research aims to contribute to young people’s engagement efforts for climate change and health action by identifying, mapping, and analysing actors, stakeholders and initiatives relevant to young people’s engagement in six countries facing climate risks and public health challenges –Ethiopia, Kenya, and Senegal in Africa, and Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam in Asia. To analyse young people’s engagement, we build on frameworks and approaches from several scientific disciplines to identify key elements that inform the involvement: social context, substance, procedure, power, and agency.