Climate change is the biggest global threat for young people in Africa and Europe
The “Securing our Future” report released on Wednesday at COP27, spoke to 100 young people from Africa and Europe about what they see as the greatest threats to global security; participants raised climate change and its consequences such as food security and severe weather events as their main concerns; young people from both Africa and Europe felt there should be more funding for alternative sources of energy, particularly renewables.
The European Investment Bank is partnering with the citizen engagement platforms, Debating Africa and Debating Europe, on a focus group project asking 100 young people, aged from 18 to 35 about their concerns for some of the major challenges facing the world today.
As summarised in the report, “Securing Our Future: 100 African & European Voices on Climate Change, Conflict and Security”, the focus groups found that young people from both Africa and Europe are very concerned about the future in a world threatened by climate change.
Every single European and most African participants cited it as a major concern while those from Africa who did not often raised other threats that they perceived as driven by climate change, such as food insecurity, severe weather events, and adverse economic conditions. Participants from both continents were keenly aware of the interlinkages between climate change and other threats such as migration, resource scarcity, and violent conflicts.
The focus groups also explored the role of international institutions and how they should respond to the climate emergency. They found: Both African and European young people felt there should be more funding for alternative sources of energy, particularly renewables; Linked to their support for renewables, Europeans wanted to see countries end the use of gas, oil, and coal, and any subsidies these sources of energy received; Africans wanted climate change interventions to focus less on the global threat and more on the current impact on Africa, notably the effects on food and energy security.
Meanwhile, participants urged partnerships between governments and institutions on mitigation and adaptation projects.