The Youth in Climate Action Summit in Islamabad brought together young people, youth, government, civil society, media, climate action experts for dialogue and conversations around climate action, celebrate the work done by young climate leaders, and discuss research evidence around how young people can effectively contribute to climate action priorities set out by the Government of Pakistan, UK, and COP26.
As one of the youngest and most populous countries in the world, Pakistan’s young people are at the biggest risk of the effects of climate change and related challenges. The Perceptions of Young People on Climate Change and Action: Pakistan report gathered survey data from 1,215 youth, 14 group discussions and 32 interviews to understand the perceptions of young people in Pakistan on climate change. This research is part of the British Council’s Climate Connection program, which aims to bring people around the world together to address the challenges of climate change. It focuses in particular on the next generation of climate leaders and gives practical support to young people and communities.
61 percent of the young people surveyed for the report came from rural areas. More than 90 per cent have never participated in any climate change awareness activity. 70 percent expressed their eagerness to learn more about climate issues.
The report found a consistent call for young people to be included in policy decisions. The findings emphasised a clear need for policymakers to channel the enthusiasm of young people in more practical and structured ways.
This is demonstrated through various climate-related social action projects implemented by young people as part of British Council’s youth leadership programme – some of which were exhibited and presented at the Youth in Climate Action Summit. A panel discussion on the role of educational institutions to promote youth-led climate action emphasised the importance of climate change awareness and action.
British Council Pakistan Country Director, Amir Ramzan, speaking at the inaugural session said: I’ve had the privilege of meeting many passionate and determined young Pakistanis through our youth leadership programme – some of whom are here today. As the Perceptions of Young People on Climate Change report we are launching today clearly shows, the youth are aware and interested to be involved in tackling climate change and other key issues. It is good to see the Government paying attention to this through initiatives that focus on youth engagement. I’m glad to share that British Council is a key partner collaborating with Kamyab Jawan programme on this exciting and much-needed initiative.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir distributed certificates to grantees of the British Council Challenge Fund at the closing ceremony and shared: I’m very proud to see that Pakistan’s youth exhibit such strong leadership and enthusiasm to work for the betterment of this country. We are eager to connect and work together with young people through the Government’s climate programmes like the Billion Trees Tsunami and Clean and Green Pakistan. They are the future of Pakistan.