Posts tagged " young leaders "

Christiana Figueres and Catriona Patterson

Selfies with Christiana Figueres: Climate Change, Leadership and Young People

April 12th, 2019 Posted by Blogs No Comment yet

Catriona Patterson, Chair of the Board of 2050 Climate Group, shares her reflections on the role of youth leadership on climate change, after a week which saw Edinburgh host both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Christiana Figueres.

I’m generally not one for selfies. So it was a surprise to me for many reasons when I found myself taking a selfie with Christiana Figueres last Friday afternoon.

Christiana Figueres is arguably the climate heroine of our present. Lauded as the individual who made the 2015 UN COP Paris Agreement possible, she is a tour-de-force of climate commitment, optimism and encouragement. As the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), she presided over the first international binding commitment on greenhouse gas emissions made by world nations…ever.

Visiting Scotland to collect the Edinburgh Medal (awarded each year by the City of Edinburgh to a person of science and technology who is judged to have made a ‘significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity’) at the Edinburgh Science Festival, Figueres often talks of challenging what we consider to be ‘feasible’ (a point particularly pertinent as Scotland discusses the level of ambition of our new Climate Change Bill), and seeing climate action as the biggest opportunity we have ever had. It is not hyperbole to cite her as inspirational: she needed to be in order to force international agreement.

2050 Climate Group was invited to participate in a roundtable of public, private and third sector leaders with Figueres during her visit to Edinburgh. Knowingly and obviously one of the youngest in the room, I was thrilled when she related her opening provocation – around rightful civic outrage, and radical optimism in the face of climate change – to the recent climate school strikes, and commended the actions of young people concerned about their future.

Days before, I had represented 2050 Climate Group as part of the ClimateXChange event ‘Climate Change Action in Small States’, taking place in the week that Edinburgh hosted a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Sitting on a panel between hugely knowledgeable climate change scientists and policy makers, I was aware I stood out. I am not responsible for regional emissions figures or target reports, and the IPCC has been around longer than I have been alive. But in talking about the unique approach of our charity, and how it connects with the knowledge and political processes which structures climate change action, I am consistently excited and proud of what we achieve, and inspired to do more.

Young people are often-quoted as the motivators for decision making on climate change, yet rarely are they given the genuine opportunity to shape that future. At 2050 Climate Group we are committed to ensuring our generation are prepared with the knowledge of climate change and its impacts that they need for their personal, professional and civic lives, but also have the skills to influence those around them, the network to support them, and crucially, the opportunities to empower them with the agency to effect change.

Being invited to participate in these two events – speaking alongside climate heroes from research and policy – is for me an example of how young people are beginning to be recognised for the role they play, and should play, in climate change leadership. The school strikes inspired by the climate activism of teenager Greta Thunberg have recently demonstrated the depth of feeling of young people at the very ‘young’ end of the youth spectrum, but at 2050 Climate Group we have a generation of young adults already participating in our society and economy, and arguably one step closer to challenging the causes of climate change and dealing with its impacts.

It can be easy to dismiss young people, and the methods and tools we use to effect change. Selfies may be chastised for a variety of reasons, but for me, this image is not (just) narcissism, it’s evidence: a demonstration and a reminder that youth leadership is recognised, valued, and necessary.


2050 Climate Group is looking for new partners from all aspects of Scotland’s public, private and third sectors, and is interested to hear from those looking to engage, educate and empower future leaders within their organisations and across wider society to take action on climate change. If you are interested in discussing opportunities to work with us, please get in touch with chair@2050.scot

 

SEPA Sustainable Growth Agreement – One Year On

January 29th, 2019 Posted by News No Comment yet

CONTINUING OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH SEPA

In July 2017, 2050 Climate Group became the third organisation to establish a Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). This voluntary formal agreement has enabled both organiations to build a stronger partnership, share and deliver environmental outcomes set out in SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity – Regulatory Strategy and create opportunities for engaging young people from all backgrounds and locations in climate change leadership.

SEPA and 2050 Climate Group will continue to work together over the next year towards the objectives of the Sustainable Growth Agreement. A summary of some keys areas of focus are outlined below:

  • Developing opportunities and models for youth engagement, influence and decision making in policy and strategy through the SEPA sector plans.
  • Supporting international leadership in climate change and One Planet Prosperity through the International Innovation Panel and shared learning from new projects in Malawi.
  • Increasing representation and participation from young people in governance; working together to encourage regulated businesses and partners to consider young people for board-level positions.
  • 11 members of SEPA staff to participate in the Third Young Leaders Development Programme.
  • Utilising SEPA’s corporate communications expertise to help support and build the profile of the work of the 2050 Climate Group.

On this partnership, SEPA Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn said: “Scotland has set some of the most ambitious climate change targets in the world.  As we pursue these targets, we are lucky enough to have a group of young Scots who are trying to help tackle climate change.  They aren’t waiting for powerful institutions to take action.  They aren’t moaning about the dilemma their parents’ generation has left them.  They are getting on with it and creating innovation and action here in Scotland.  I am determined that, through this Sustainable Growth Agreement, SEPA will support these young Scots to do what they do best – make things happen.

Read the full SGA Review here
Watch our video below

Malawian Youth Climate Leaders meet Scottish Government Ministers

January 25th, 2019 Posted by News No Comment yet

MaSP and 2050 Climate Group shared experiences of the Malawian Youth Climate Leaders project with Scottish Government Ministers this week.

Promise Matatiyo and Joanna Ziwa met with  Ben Macpherson, the Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development and Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

Here, they had the opportunity to share their stories about innovative energy solutions, sustainable development education and climate change advocacy in the country.  It was also a chance for the Minister and Cabinet Secretary to hear firsthand about the impact this project has already had on the lives of young leaders in Malawi.

Climate change impacts in Malawi includes extreme weather events that induce devastating flooding and droughts, which negatively affect food and water security, energy security, livelihoods and conservation efforts.

Vera Kamtukule, Chief Executive of the Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP) said: “Malawi is a country, which is at the sharp end of the effects of climate change where its impacts are a reality now.

“Nearly half of Malawi’s population is aged 18 or under and so it’s right that young people are key agents of change in this most pressing issue.

Malawian Youth Climate Leaders Promise and Joanna meeting with Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, MSP and Ben Macpherson, MSP

“The interconnectivity of the effects of climate change with our economy cannot be over emphasised. I know from Minister Ben Macpherson’s visit to Malawi last summer, which we greatly appreciated, that listening to the voice of Youth is a priority for the Scottish Government as well.”

As part of the Scotland’s 2018 Year of Young People, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced funding for a new partnership project between MaSP and 2050 Climate Group in April last year at the Youth Climate Summit in Glasgow.

Together, these organisations with the support from the Scotland Malawi Partnership are collaborating on the Malawi’s Climate Leaders project, which aims to deliver climate change engagement training and create a network of ambitious young individuals that want to contribute to a sustainable future.

The purpose of this partnership is to empower young Malawians and increase their leadership roles in climate action. The role of 2050 Climate Group is to inspire and support youth leadership while facilitating a two-way intercultural exchange between volunteers of both organisations.

MaSP has built many successful connections with existing youth organisations on the ground such as the National Youth Council, creating a steering committee of young individuals aged below 35 to shape the project activities and recruited 26 Youth Leaders from all over Malawi who will participate in the project.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government continues to support the efforts of the 2050 Malawi’s Climate Leaders project, which does fantastic work empowering young leaders to support the delivery of a just, low carbon future.

“The Minister for International Development and I were delighted to hear directly from two of the project’s young climate leaders. The work they are doing to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and building a network of young people who are committed to finding socially-just solutions to tackling climate change in Malawi is truly inspirational.”

Elizabeth Dirth, Trustee of 2050 Climate Group, said: “Young people, as crucial stakeholders in tackling climate change and its coming impacts, should be given the knowledge, tools, and authority to create a future they want to be a part of.

“This holds true just as much in Malawi as it does in Scotland. This project between MaSP and 2050 Climate Group is a key example of an ambitious and innovative climate change project run by young people for young people.

“As Scotland’s youth-led charity empowering young people to take action on climate change, we think it is essential for the international community to recognise and nurture young people to be leaders on climate action and climate justice.”

For more information, visit the 2050 Climate Group website.