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Enabling the Right to Participate

“Young people’s voice on climate change has to move from the streets to the halls, where decisions are made, and change happens.”
Mildred Nzau, AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub


Increasing meaningful youth participation in policy and decision-making processes is crucial to ensuring more ambitious climate action and implementation. Children and young people need to be seen as more than simply beneficiaries. Rather, they need to be seen as key stakeholders and active participants in policy development and implementation processes.

Not only is it their right to be involved, but it is young people who will suffer the greatest consequences if ambitious measures to mitigate climate change are not immediately taken, and thus, they have the most to gain from climate action.

The Need for Voice: This Brief is based on learning from a programme that seeks to improve participation and address the governance and climate nexus. The programme’s aim is reflected in its title, Sustainable Accountability Uniting Tanzanian and Irish Youth or ‘SAUTI-Youth’. SAUTI is the Swahili word for ‘voice’ and it is the empowerment of youth to be strong voices in and for their communities and to monitor government commitments on climate action that will bring about the programme’s results.