Climate Diplomacy Week with a discussion on the role of youth in mitigating climate change

25 September, 2019, Prishtina – In the framework of Climate Diplomacy Week, the Balkan Green Foundation (BGF), GAP Institute, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), Balkan Forum, and Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) organized a discussion on the role of youth in climate change mitigation.

Rinora Gojani, from the Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) said that civil society organizations, as one of the most vocal promoters of sustainable development in Kosovo, believe that: “Climate change policies, and sustainable development in general, are issues that undoubtedly require the involvement of all generations, especially the youth. The role of young people in the energy transition, and in adapting to climate change are important to present a smarter solution for environmental protection in Kosovo.

Nataliya Apostolova, Special Representative of the European Union / Head of the EU Office (EUSR / HoO) emphasized the EU's support in involving youth in the path towards climate change mitigation. Apostolova said: “Climate change must be seen as a global challenge and must be addressed with the involvement and cooperation of all countries and regions in the world. Citizen awareness, youth involvement, and human capacity development play a key role in the path towards mitigating climate change. But above all, I call on political leaders to prioritize these issues, also during the election campaign.

On the other hand, Stine Ramussen from DG CLIMA, clearly presented the European Union's decision to build a new coal-based power plant. "It is unfortunate that the decision makers' plans in the country are to proceed with the construction of a new coal-based power plant. European Union policies always focus on being in line with the Paris Agreement, and our first priority is to move away from coal use. Therefore, I urge the Kosovar youth to become involved and familiarize themselves with sustainable development issues, and make preassure for a clean environment and future, as climate change should not be treated as a problem of one sector, but rather as inclusive,” Ramussen said.

The event was then followed by a panel discussion on the importance of empowering youth to change their daily habits in relation to nature protection, promoting sustainable transport and mobility, raising various societal debates on climate change, coordination of priorities with relevant stakeholders etc. It was also stressed that it is important for decision makers to be concerned with environmental protection issues, to strengthen cooperation with citizens and actors from the international sphere for the benefit of the country - because there are difficulties in implementing legal frameworks dealing with climate change.

During the open discussion, the participants agreed that it is important for the general public to be informed about early and inclusive education on climate change in the country and beyond, in order to promote environmental protection and sustainable development from each of us.

"Climate Diplomacy Week in Kosovo 2019" is organized by the EU Office in cooperation with various non-governmental organizations, which has as a main goal is to raise the awareness of citizens on topics related to climate change in the country and beyond.

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