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IRENA strategically engages youth through various initiatives that follow the vision of empowering young leaders in the energy transition. Since 2020 it has been hosting its annual Youth Forum, a platform for innovative dialogue among young people and global pioneers accelerating the role of youth in the energy transition.
2022 IRENA Youth Forum
The 2022 IRENA Youth Forum was guided by the theme Youth-led solutions to accelerate the energy transition and achieve climate objectives. The forum highlighted the role of young people in identifying and developing solutions that can promote and accelerate renewables-based energy transitions to achieve climate targets and other sustainable development goals. It also connected young people with global thought leaders, government representatives and IRENA experts, enabling them to identify the essential areas that require youth’s support and contribution for the advancement of a global energy transition.
Young leaders from around the world issued a clear call for action at the 2022 IRENA Youth Forum. On the sidelines of the 12th session of the IRENA Assembly in January, over 400 young energy leaders gathered virtually and called on organisations, governments, the private sector, academia and civil society to take urgent action to ensure that the energy transition is led by young people.
Youth representatives who were engaged in the discussion developed a document they presented to the IRENA Assembly, sharing feedback and inputs and highlighting actionable steps for youth to advance the energy transition through innovative solutions.
Read more about the outcome of the 2022 IRENA Youth Forum.
2021 IRENA Youth Forum
The second edition of the IRENA Youth Forum, entitled The New Generation of Decision Makers, took place on 14 January 2021 on the margins of the 11th session of the IRENA Assembly. In response to travel restrictions prompted by the pandemic, the Youth Forum was held virtually — allowing youth from all over world to engage with discussions on the challenges and opportunities of this year’s theme: Promoting an Inclusive and Just Energy Transition.
Through a series of interactive sessions, the forum provided an opportunity for participants to engage in discussions on promoting an inclusive and just global energy transition. It also served to strengthen the existing network of young energy leaders with the latest insights from the renewable sector. Young people created a connection with global thought leaders, government representatives and IRENA experts to identify the space for youth to contribute to the deployment of renewable energy and promote a fair and equal energy transition.
Read more about the outcome of the 2021 IRENA Youth Forum.
2020 IRENA Youth Forum
IRENA’s inaugural Youth Forum was held on 10 January 2020 on the margins of the Agency’s 10th Assembly. Structured under the theme Renewables beyond 2030: The Key Role of Youth in the Global Energy Transformation, the Agency’s first major event for and by youth recognised the vital role that young people play in achieving climate stability, advancing the sustainable development agenda and transforming the use of energy.
A series of interactive sessions generated the exchange of ideas among youth delegates, and between youth, government representatives and other thought leaders in the energy transition. Participants were able to make valued contributions to the global energy discourse, while identifying ways for youth to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the renewable energy sector, allowing them to amplify their voices and actions in support of renewables.
The IRENA Youth Forum also showcased how increasing the share of renewables in the global energy mix can be an effective instrument to address socio-economic challenges, support the development of innovative solutions and accelerate global efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Read more about the outcome of the 2020 IRENA Youth Forum.