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World Youth Report 2010

Youth and Climate Change

image of World Youth Report 2010

This report is intended to highlight the important role young people play in addressing climate change, and to offer suggestions on how young people might be more effectively integrated as individuals and collective agents of change within the realm of climate change adaptation and mitigation. The report is designed to assist youth and youth organizations in educating themselves and to become more actively involved in combating the threat of climate change. It is also meant to affirm the status of young people as key stakeholders in the fight against climate change. The publication comes at a time when efforts to address climate change are receiving unparalleled attention within the international arena, offering young people a unique opportunity for their voice to be heard in the debate.

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Profile of youth: Brief demographic and development profile of youth

For statistical purposes, the United Nations defines youth as individuals between the ages of 15 and 24. Young people currently number 1.2 billion, accounting for approximately 18 per cent of the global population (United Nations, 2009b). Youth do not constitute a homogeneous group; their socio-economic, demographic, and geographical situations vary widely both within and between regions. Notwithstanding these differences, regional-level analysis provides a general understanding of their development profile. The vast majority of the world’s youth—some 87 per cent—live in developing countries and face challenges deriving from limited access to resources, education, training, employment, and broader economic development opportunities.

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