Youth climate change committee aims to connect younger generation with policymakers

New organisation will increase dialogue as research shows that the vast majority of young people believe climate change is an urgent issue

A new youth climate change committee has been set up in a bid to engage more young people with climate change policy.

The Independent Youth Committee on Climate Change (IYCCC) has been launched at a time when statistics released by UNICEF reveal that 75% of 11-16 year olds are worried about how global warming will change the world and want governments to do more to tackle the threat.

IYCCC will link teenagers and young adults (aged 15-30) with policymakers and business influencers to allow the younger generation to feed into the process of decision-making, which ultimately impacts on their future.

Acting as the only youth-led organisation in the UK focused on communicating climate change policy, the IYCCC offers a platform for discussion and debate between government and young people. Its objectives include making consultations more accessible and contributing to vital research, especially in relation to younger generations and climate change.

Currently, the organisation, which goes some way towards replacing the scrapped Climate Change Youth Advisory Panel (set up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2010), is working on a broad range of projects within the context of UK and EU policy, including: biodiversity, climate change education, energy, food, international development and human rights, sustainable transition, and waste.

Elizabeth Anderson, who was the chair of the now defunct Youth Advisory Panel, takes up the position of founder and chair of the IYCCC.

Statistics for the first of the organisation’s surveys found that 88% of young people feel that government should make action on climate change one of their strongest priorities, with 14% suggesting it should be its highest priority. More than 90% felt that action on climate change was urgent, with most young people wanting to see maximisation of energy efficiency and the roll-out of sustainable energy projects.