group of five young people hanging out

The Youth Climate Dialogues (YCDs) have been empowering young people since 2015 by fostering multicultural exchanges on climate change, recently engaging 390 students in Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These dialogues emphasize the importance of early climate education, meaningful youth participation, and collective action to address climate change comprehensively.


Read on to find out more!

Young people will likely face the consequences of climate change throughout their lives. While this reality may seem daunting, it also means they have much to gain if climate change is mitigated or reversed. Therefore, it is crucial to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to address climate change and the various environmental and social problems it causes.

To this end, UN CC:Learn has been organizing Youth Climate Dialogues (YCDs) since 2015. These dialogues provide a unique platform for young individuals from diverse backgrounds to discuss and share their perceptions and experiences related to climate change. Such multicultural exchanges foster a deeper understanding of the global nature of the crisis, enabling students to appreciate how climate change impacts different regions and countries.

In 2023, UN CC:Learn and MIET Africa collaborated to organize a series of YCDs in Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Over six months, 14 dialogues were held within and between these four countries, reaching a total of 390 students, 61% of whom were girls. This YCD series covered a range of climate-related topics, from the role of youth in climate action to the impacts of climate change on access to clean water.

The dialogues ensured that students interacted on an equal footing, promoting a sense of shared responsibility and collective action. They also enabled participants to discuss practical solutions and actions, inspiring them to implement changes beyond the dialogues themselves.

Some of the key points raised in the dialogues included the necessity of encouraging meaningful participation of young people at all levels in addressing climate change, highlighting that youth need opportunities to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Participants also noted that climate change effects intersect with other issues and that climate change illiteracy hampers efforts to address it. They recognized that addressing climate change requires a comprehensive understanding of its causes, contributing factors, and consequences, emphasizing the importance of starting education early.

Moving forward, UN CC:Learn and MIET Africa plan to build on this fruitful experience to continue promoting dialogue and action on climate change.