Young people are the most important stakeholders of the future. And yet, youth voices are underrepresented in policy making. That’s why the We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership brings together young people from all over the world for a common goal: to co-develop plans for the future they wish to see and live in. The Netherlands believes that young people need to be involved in the decision-making which will shape the future of the world they inherit. Through Youth at Heart, the Netherlands strives to include young people’s voice in shaping climate agendas and inspire decision-makers to take bolder action faster.
As a partner of the We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership, the Netherlands strives to make youth voices a structural and mandated part of the national and international climate debates. It should not rest on shoulders of youth to hold world leaders responsible. But they are doing a great job nonetheless! We Are Tomorrow unites the voices of the future for a more sustainable tomorrow. Their slogan? “We will work together, we will show the world our solutions, and decision-makers will hear us out. Because we are the future, We Are Tomorrow!”
The Dutch Young Climate Movement (Jonge Klimaatbeweging) fulfills a central role in the partnership. They unite approx. 70 youth organisations, including student unions and the youth networks of several political parties, trade unions and some of the country’s largest employers. Together, they represent nearly 500,000 Dutch youths from all walks of life. The Young Climate Movement in the Netherlands aspires to influence climate and sustainability policies on the national and international level. They work closely with politicians, policymakers and the business community. In 2019, they presented their vision for 2050, the Youth Climate Action Agenda, to the Dutch government. In the same year, they also joined the negotiations for the Dutch Climate Agreement, in which a broad coalition of Dutch organisations reached an agreement on how to achieve the Dutch climate goals.
On the international level, together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Young Climate Movement was also instrumental in the founding of the We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership. This international initiative supports young climate activists all over the world to exchange knowledge and write their own visions for a sustainable future. By empowering local young voices and increasing their visibility and influence, they hope to spur decision-makers all over the world to raise their climate ambitions.
Currently, the We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership has 11 partners: Netherlands, Chile, South Africa, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda, Egypt, Mexico, Bangladesh and Qatar. Together, these youth organisations have attracted 1,900 members. In the past two years, their partners have hosted 300+ events, workshops, and youth dialogues.
In Uganda, for example, Girls for Climate organised the first Youth Stakeholders’ Dialogue on inclusion in the revision, implementation and achievement of the NDCs. In Chile, Mexico and Nepal, young climate activists presented their version of the Youth Climate Action Agenda to key national climate decision-makers. In South Africa, climate youth have not only established regular meetings with policy makers, they created a Youth Climate Action Plan together with the City of Johannesburg. They have also defined their own youth climate action plan.
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