Neeshad Shafi took the Intro Course on Climate Change and founded the first and only not-for-profit environmental organization registered in the State of Qatar. His NGO strives to protect the environment while giving equal opportunities to women and the youth. Read his full story below!

When one thinks about climate change action, Qatar is not really the first place that comes to mind. But Neeshad Shafi, founder of the Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar, is changing that. As a student, Neeshad wanted to better understand climate science and advocacy, which led him to discover UN CC:Learn and its platform with free e-courses. He set out to complete the “Introductory e-Course on Climate Change” and successfully completed the course in 2015. The knowledge acquired in the course laid out the groundwork for his future endeavor: founding the Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ), the single not-for-profit environmental organization registered in the State of Qatar. 

AYCMQ is a youth-led NGO building a movement that fosters understanding of the natural ecosystems and empowers the community to act. It does that by raising environmental awareness at grassroots level and by targeting youth and adults with tailored activities, helping to promote active participation in dialogue and in finding solutions. 

AYCMQ’s values are also rooted in gender equality. For instance, more than half of its team members are women and so are most of the participants who take part in the organization’s activities, which is something remarkable everywhere but especially in a Gulf country. 

At AYCM Qatar we are founded on the presciple of gender equality. More then 50% of our team comprises of women members and we have always given up most space for women and youth girls in various programs of ours.” – Neeshad Shafi, 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion 

The UN CC:Learn Dialogue Space on Learning for Countries brought key stakeholders to discuss “young people capacity building gaps and needs to access climate finance”.


Read on to find out what went on.


Photo Credit: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard.

How can UN CC:Learn and its partners better promote capacity building to enable youth to access climate finance?

That’s what the Dialogue Space on Learning for Countries held on May 16 2023 set out to answer. This space was set up as part of UN CC:Learn’s fifth implementation phase with the goal of bringing key stakeholders together to discuss, share experiences and collaborate on key topics at the forefront of the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) agenda. This would help build knowledge and skills in countries to support the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans.

The event was led by the newly appointed Chair of the Learning for Countries Dialogue Space – Dr. Roberta Ianna, a Senior Expert at the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security in Italy and focal point on ACE for Italy – whose one-year term commenced in March 2023. She kicked off the discussion by highlighting the increasingly important role that youth are having in climate action, stressing how access to climate finance can help unlock several opportunities for youth and asking the audience how organizations working with and for the youth, like the UN and other NGOs, can empower young people to access climate finance.

Dr. Ianna’s introduction was followed by a series of presentations and an exchange session. To kick off the presentations, Ms. Emanuela Vignola and Dr. Ianna presented about the Youth4Climate and Youth4Capacityinitiatives respectively. Both initiatives are supported by the Government of Italy. Then, Mr. Demetrio Innocenti, from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), spoke about GCF’s role in supporting youth access to climate finance. The last presentation was by Mr. Ricardo Toxiri, from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), who explained how IRENA supports young innovators in the energy transition process by empowering youth-led businesses and projects.

The moderated discussion had participants answering two questions: “How can young people be empowered to access climate finance?” and “What other initiatives or good practices are there?”. Some key takeaways from it were that young people should have more access to a series of capacity-building opportunities in which they could learn key soft and technical skills and have direct access to experts in their areas of interests. Also, hands-on, decision-making power to enable youth to fully implement their climate action initiatives arose as something that would empower them to better unlock climate finance. Moreover, as part of the exchange, the Government of Ghana shared its experience in developing a National Climate Change Learning Strategy with a strong youth component, and the Government of Senegal laid out a series of activities carried out in the country to strengthen ACE.

To wrap-up the session, Mr. Angus Mackay, Director of the Division for Planet at UNITAR, invited participants to reflect that:

  • There is still a big gap between what youth need and what organizations are delivering. Moving this needle requires real support through practical initiatives such as the ones presented by the guest speakers.
  • Vulnerable countries and groups are still not being fully engaged.
  • Technical understanding of the topic supports the skills that one gains while learning on the job. There is still heavy lifting to be done to build soft skills together with solid understanding of climate change within education systems.

This Dialogue Space was attended by several UN CC:Learn Partners, including the United Nations Development ProgrammeUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the British Council, the Green Climate Fund, the Future Leaders Network, the Global Center on Adaptation, MIET Africa, the NDC PartnershipSoka Gakkai Italy, YOUNGO, and the International Renewable Energy Agency, and the Governments of Senegal, Kenya, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

Jordi López has completed three courses on UN CC:e-Learn that have inspired him to launch World Zero CO2, an online carbon footprint calculator that is already being used in two schools in Barcelona, Spain. Read on to learn more about his story.

Despite not being even 18 years old yet, Jordi López, from Spain, is already leaving a positive impact on his community. Jordi has always been curious about global issues. One day, he came across a UN report saying that by 2025, there will be more than 200 million climate refugees worldwide. This report sparked an interest in him to find out more about the climate crisis, its consequences and what can be done to face up to it. He then decided to volunteer at COP25 in Madrid, Spain, to learn more about the global discussions around this issue and become more engaged in finding solutions.

Soon after, he stumbled across UN CC:Learn and completed three courses – Cities and Climate Change, Human Health and Climate Change and the Introductory e-Course on Climate Change – which gave him a solid basis to start thinking about concrete actions he could do to join the fight against climate change.

He then founded World Zero CO2, an online calculator for youth which gives people’s carbon footprint while providing tips and solutions to live more sustainably. The project is going well and has been piloted in two schools in Barcelona, Spain, as well as with a large group of youth from across the globe. Jordi has presented the results at the two schools and proposed follow-ups to see if the schools manage to reduce their carbon footprints.

Jordi López and his World Zero CO2 carbon footprint calculator. (Personal archive)

Jordi López and his World Zero CO2 carbon footprint calculator. (Personal archive)

In addition to this endeavor, Jordi has also won a hackathon and got support from Fundación Telefónica to develop his new initiative: Mentally Ecological, which focuses on the slow living concept.

“I am taking the five recommended courses in the UN CC:Learn Teacher Portal to expand my knowledge on global warming and use it in World Zero C02.” – Jordi López, 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion.

Ornélia Koumba Moussavou is a young Gabonese professional who developed her skills with UN CC:Learn. Read on to learn more about the projects she has contributed to.

From learning about climate change to contributing to climate projects. This what Ornelia Koumba Moussavou, a young Gabonese women has to tell!
Ornelia has a degree in International Studies from the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences at Hassan II University in Mohammedia, Morocco. Throughout her life, she has always had an interest in climate change, which led her to the “Climate change: From learning to action” e-course on UN CC:e-Learn. She enrolled in the course and completed it, receiving an official certificate from the UN on completion.

As a young graduate, she started applying for internships in the environmental field. In her job search, she came across a position at  the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) of the Kingdom of Morocco, which currently holds the presidency of the Union of African Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (UCESA). Her knowledge of climate change, acquired through the online UN CC:Learn course, helped her get the job and has assisted her in her daily tasks in this new role.

The internship enabled her to work on some interesting projects, including one on climate change awareness in 16 other African countries. The project shed light on how Africa’s citizens perceive climate change. To this end, a qualitative and quantitative study was put together, and 8200 citizens took part in it. The results were presented at COP27, in Sharm-el-Sheik in Egypt. Ornelia contributed to drafting this document which provides policy guidance and practical recommendations for inclusive and coordinated climate action by and for African citizens.

“The UN CC:Learn course gave me the necessary foundation for carrying out my climate-related tasks. After this course, I’m sure I will be able to tackle new challenges in the climate change field.” – Ornélia Koumba, 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion

Dinh-Long Pham is raising awareness of climate change and showcasing climate action efforts through  “Life Line”: a youth-focused podcast series. Read on his full story below!

Climate change is a complex issue, but one thing is certain: youth will have an important role to play in addressing it. Dinh-Long Pham, a podcast host from France, is giving a platform for youth to showcase their climate efforts and voice their concerns about the climate crisis. Dinh-Long is the founder of the Life Line podcast, which features young changemakers from different walks of life who work hard to make the world a better place. His podcast aims to amplify the voices of the youth and inspire as many people as possible to take action, including on climate change.  He started interviewing people on climate change action after coming across UN CC:e-Learn. The courses there increased his understanding about the topic and sparked an interest in bringing it to the fore of his discussions.

On the topic of climate change specifically, Dinh-Long has interviewed several young climate activists and entrepreneurs over the past few years, giving them a platform to speak out and showcase their work. During the hour-long conversations, he strives to help the audience get climate action insights that are applicable to their own contexts while highlighting the linkages between climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals. Here’s a few examples:

  • Shaan Suhas Kumar, India, Miss Earth India 2017, running grassroots awareness campaigns.
  • Ra’eed Ali, Fiji, launched Precious Plastic Fiji upcycling plastic waste into furniture and also advocating for climate justice as a Pacific Islander.
  • Heeta Lakhani, India, former YOUNGO Global South Focal Point who is raising the voice of youth in official spaces.
  • Jan Kairel Guillermo, Philippines, survivor of Typhoon Haiyan who uses arts to raise awareness about climate.
  • Xuan Mai Hoang, Viet Nam, a young climate activist who started at 13 years old, sharing her journey at COP24.
  • Pamela Mejia, Philippines, launched her social enterprise PHINIX, a pioneer sustainable fashion brand in Philippines, upcycling fabric scraps.
  • Mahenaz Chowdhury, Bangladesh, launched her social enterprise Broqué, a leading sustainable fashion brand in Bangladesh that builds the slow fashion movement.
  • Monorom Tchaw, Cambodia, launched her social enterprise Compost City which provides fun, hands-on, interactive environmental education through composting.
Dihn-Long interviewing a guest for the LifeLine Podcast. (Personal archive)

Dinh-Long interviewing a guest for the Life Line Podcast. (Personal archive)

Moving forward, Dinh-Long is planning to start a podcast series fully focused on climate change which breaks down key topics for the audience.

“The UN CC:Learn courses also helped me in shaping this narrative, by highlighting the link of climate change with all SDGs, and the link of all SDGs with climate change.” – Dinh-Long Pham, 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion


Want to do like Dinh-Long and start learning about climate change in order to take action for the climate?

Take our Climate Quiz first and test your knowledge to find out where to start! This short quiz will give you immediate recommendations on how to advance your climate change knowledge.

Ghana is committed to addressing climate change. The country recently held a National Climate Change and Green Economy Week to raise awareness of it among its population, particularly the youth. Read on to find out more about the wide range of activities that took place in the country from 27th to 31st March 2023.

From 27th to 31st March 2023, Ghana held its National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023. The week-long event was organized by the country’s Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with a range of partners, including UN CC:Learn. It is part of the implementation of Ghana’s National Climate Change Learning Strategy, launched in 2016.

A series of activities were carried out across 5 days in the capital Accra and mobilized Ghanaians around the importance of addressing climate change in order to safeguard livelihoods in the future. The event got extensive media coverage, including TV and radio interviews (examples here and here) broadcasted nationally, which helped carry the message to millions of people across the country.

The event was formally opened by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation during a dedicated ceremony held at Accra’s National Theatre, in front of hundreds of participants. Representatives from multiple organizations, including international development partners, national institutions, such as the Ghana Education Service (GES), academia, as well as youth and traditional leaders also intervened.

Opening ceremony of Ghana's National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023.

Opening ceremony of Ghana’s National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023.

A special edition of UN CC:Learn’s Youth Climate Dialogues flagship initiative followed, bringing together high school students from four Ghanaian schools to discuss climate change impacts and solutions with students from Italy. This exciting exchange allowed both students and teachers from all schools involved to get a different perspective of how climate change is affecting other countries and how the young people perceive and deal with this issue. In addition to the students participating in the exchange, over a hundred Ghanaian high school students attended the Dialogue, enhancing their knowledge.

Youth Climate Dialogue Flyer

Youth Climate Dialogue flyer.

A second event specifically targeting high-school students took the form of a climate change quiz, involving four schools, each represented by two young people. The quiz consisted of four rounds of questions, each characterized by a set of different assignments related to multiple aspects of climate change and green economy, to be undertaken within a well-defined timeframe. All classmates attended as part of the public, cheering and supporting their respective champions.

Students during the quiz.

High-school students during the climate change quiz.

Additional events included a symposium on climate change, with interventions from university professors, academicians and representatives of civil society organizations, a street procession across the streets of Accra with messages on climate change, as well as national and community meetings dedicated to awareness raising.

A ceremony concluded the Week and provided an occasion to award a wide range of national and international stakeholders for their commitment to climate change and green economy learning. Among them, a teacher who has participated in the national climate change and green economy teacher training programme organized by MESTI, EPA, GES, with UN CC:Learn and UNDP support, was recognized for its outstanding work for the promotion of climate change and green economy education. UN CC:Learn will support his participation in COP28 of the UNFCCC, in Dubai, UAE, in December 2023, on the occasion of Education Day and related events, to share the experience of Ghana internationally.

The National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023 is the second edition of this broad awareness raising initiative, which follows the one held in 2016. This complements the extensive efforts undertaken by the Government of Ghana to integrate climate change and green economy into education across primary and secondary levels.

On 28 February 2023, the Government of Ghana launched the 2023 Climate Change and Green Economy Week.


The week-long celebration will put climate action at the center of discussions.


Read on to find out more.

The impact of climate change is increasingly visible in Africa. The continent has been suffering from the warming temperatures, which have disrupted rainfall patterns, dried up water resources and impacted agriculture.

Against this backdrop, the Government of Ghana, in collaboration with several partners, is organising the 2023 National Climate Change and Green Economy Week. The week was officially launched on 28 February 2023 by Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, in Accra, Ghana, and will take place from 27th to 31st of March 2023. The week-long celebration will sensitize the public about climate change through several activities, such as keynote speeches from high-level officials, a parade, an award, educational initiatives, youth dialogues and more.

Launch of 2023 Climate Change and Green Economy Week

Aiming to shed light on how climate change is impacting Ghana, the Climate Change and Green Economy Week has been organized since 2016 as part of the country’s Climate and Green Economy Learning Strategy. It has been raising awareness about the role public education can have in increasing understanding of the challenges posed by the climate crisis and creating broad, community-driven action to try to stem its effects in the long-term.

Learn more about the Ghana Climate Change and Green Economy Week below:

UN CC:Learn presented its initiatives to advance climate literacy to young people at the International Cooperation Forum in Switzerland. Check out our initiatives and get involved!

On 16th February 2023, the UN CC:Learn team was present at the International Cooperation Forum (ICF) in Geneva, Switzerland, to exchange with youth on solutions to advance sustainable development and address climate change. Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, Coordinator of the UN CC:Learn programme, shared the UN CC:Learn experience on-site in front of an audience of around 80 people. She highlighted the work UN CC:Learn has done over the past decade to build global climate change literacy and engagement across different axes, focusing in particular on its e-learning platform.

This is one of the largest e-learning platform globally specifically dedicated to climate change and green economy, with 50 free, self-paced e-courses on a broad range of topics. She highlighted that over 667,000 learners from all over the world have already been accessing the platform and over 250,000 certificates have been issued, with high participation of young people up to 34 years old.

In addition, she showcased the UN CC:Learn Climate Quiz, which helps individuals assess their climate change knowledge and get tailored tips and recommendations for additional learning. She concluded her interventions by noting how all these resources are supporting change, mentioning key results from the UN CC:Learn alumni surveys and presenting two stories of young alumni who had created environmental organizations in their countries.

The ICF is an event organized by the Government of Switzerland to bring together different stakeholders with the purpose of promoting international cooperation to address key global challenges. This year’s topic was “Education4Future” and had education and youth at the core of its discussions. The event took place at CICG, in Geneva, over the 15th and 16th of February 2023 and was held in a hybrid setting, with participants being able to attend it in person or online.

The event featured several interventions from experts and high-level speakers, including from Mr. Ignazio Cassis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Federal Councilor of Switzerland, who stressed the importance of good quality and universal education.

Every individual, every child, has the right to education. Without education, there is no development.” – Ignazio Cassis, Federal Councilor of Switzerland.

The Forum also provided an opportunity for participants to exchange and discuss about a multiplicity of education-related topics, ranging from innovative investments in education to inclusivity and digitalization, to the development of future- and market-oriented skills.

High-school students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben St.Gallen, in Switzerland, visited the UNITAR headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and were hosted by the Green Development and Climate Change Programme.


The students took part in a two-hour meeting with UNITAR staff where they got career tips and learned more about the life in international civil service.

On 15 February 2023, a group of 20 students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben St.Gallen, in Switzerland, visited the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and took part in a 2-hour session with UNITAR staff. The students’ visit was part of an annual field trip to International Geneva, during which they visited other international organizations, participated in a UN simulation and attended the International Cooperation Forum.

The visit to UNITAR aimed at giving the students an idea of the skills and background needed to work in the United Nations and it kicked off with a broad overview of the organization given by Mr. Lucas Terra of UNITAR’s Green Development and Climate Change Programme. He walked participants through the history of the organization, its mandate and the seven different divisions of UNITAR. He also explained the role the organization plays in contributing to the 2030 Agenda and showcased some of its flagship programmes.

Ms. Maya Valcheva speaking to the students.

This first introductory part was followed by a round of presentations on professional backgrounds, careers and skills needed by UNITAR and other international organizations, that were delivered by Ms. Katharina Sill, Mr. Karim Saleh, Ms. Maya Valcheva and Mr. Abhinandan Banerjee. The four speakers told their personal stories and spoke about how they ended up pursuing a career at the United Nations in Geneva, what they studied at university and what skills they think are important to land a job at an international organization.

Each presentation was followed by questions from the students, who were particularly keen to learn what working at UNITAR looks like and how UNITAR projects are conceived and implemented. To wrap up the session, students joined a general Q&A about the life in Geneva as an international civil servant.

Students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben St.Gallen visiting the UNITAR HQ.

As the generation that will live their whole lives bearing the brunt of the negative effects of climate change, youth must have say in climate change negotiations!


Towards this aim, UN CC:Learn joined forces with the Climate Youth Negotiators Programme (CYNP) to train future climate youth negotiators.


Read on to find out more.

In October 2022, UN CC:Learn joined forces with the Climate Youth Negotiators Programme (CYNP) to deliver two sessions to over 40 youth negotiators as part of CYNP’s Youth Negotiators training. The training aimed to provide youth from several different countries with the right knowledge and skills to engage in effective negotiations in key climate change conferences, notably COP27.

The CYNP is part of the Future Leaders Network and was created to empower youth to negotiate as part of their countries’ official delegations to key climate conferences, therefore bringing an angle to the negotiations which considers the needs and aspirations of young people. The programme trains, connects, and empowers youth negotiators to participate meaningfully in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations, allowing them to advance the climate agenda in the multilateral arena and to achieve climate justice for younger generations.

The two sessions delivered by UN CC:Learn were spaced two weeks apart and held twice to allow for young negotiators from different time zones to join the sessions most convenient to them. The first session provided an overview of the UNFCCC negotiation process, negotiation skills, and an introductory simulation exercise focused on preparations for negotiating a topic. The second session covered communications and working with the media, preparing and negotiating a national position, and concluded with a negotiation simulation where participants prepared and delivered opening statements.

The CYNP first training programme ended in November 2022 and allowed participants to benefit from:

  • A six-month intensive leadership and negotiation training schedule, mostly delivered virtually, with the last session held in-person in Egypt, just before COP27.
  • A community of young leaders and negotiators, with dedicated spaces and platforms enabling them to share ideas, thoughts and learnings with each other.
  • The opportunity to secure accessibility grants to cover their travel and subsistence at UNFCCC negotiations. These grants were aimed primarily at lower-income countries, with a view to removing one of the biggest barriers to youth participation in decision making.

To complete their training programme this year, the CYNP cohort attended COP27 to experience first-hand what was being discussed there.