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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.7 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 30 March 2022

In February 2021, the new Government lead by Mario Draghi set up a new Minister for Ecological Transition, which absorbed some of the competencies of the previous Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea, together withsome key-functions in the process of ecological transition, mainly related to the energy sector. In the next months,forthcoming policy developments are expected, also related to issues on “youth and the world”.

In addition, there are developments connected to the organisation of the Y20 (hosted for the first time in Italy) and Y7, the steps towards the National Conference on Sustainable Development, as well as to the national events connected to the COP26 conference (see below). 

Forthcoming policy developments

In view of the renewal of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development (SNSvS), the Ministry for Ecological Transition has the task of guiding this path and for this reason, in 2021, it will organize a series of inter-institutional working tables, opportunities for discussion with civil society, technical coaching and public events that will accompany the review process of the SNSvS and will culminate, by the end of the year, in the National Conference for Sustainable Development (see also:

In this context, as part of the CReIAMO PA Project, the Preparatory Conference was held on 3 and 4 March 2021. In addition to being the first step in the three-year review process of the SNSvS, the Preparatory Conference aims to:

  • Allow for the comparison between central and local institutions and civil society on the issue of sustainable development, giving value to all those involved in the SNSvS implementation process;
  • Promote the involvement of young people and their participation in initiatives and paths of change within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Further the processes of territorialisation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the context of greater territorial cohesion, with a view to dialogue and continuous comparison;
  • Present economic planning measures in the sense of ecological transition and well-being

The event saw the presence of institutions and all the public and private actors involved in the process of implementation and revision of the SNSvS, with it representing a fundamental intermediate step to making an incisive contribution to the sustainable relaunch of Italy. The Preparatory Conference opened with the speech of the new Minister of Ecological Transition.

In this context, a Youth Working Group has been created and presented a position paper.

Ongoing debates

The ongoing debates deal mainly with two areas: (a) the first one regards the Y20 and Y7 Summits; (b) the second the role of young people in climate change action.

(a) Regarding the Youth 20 (Y20) and the Youth 7 (Y7) Summits, the official engagement groups of the G20 and G7 dedicated to young people Y20 and Y7 organised by the Young Ambassadors Society (YAS), the following events – that also involve the Italian Government and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – have to be mentioned:

Y7 e Y20

In collaboration with the Italian Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Young Ambassadors Society (YAS) is selecting the delegates who for 2022 will join the Italian Delegation to Youth 7 (Y7) and Youth 20 ( Y20), the official engagement groups dedicated to G20 and G7 youth.

The work of the engagement groups develops over several months during the year and culminates with the Y20 and Y7 Summits where a Final Communiqué is drawn up containing the proposals of the young delegations and which is then transmitted to the Presidents and Heads of State.

The Italian delegations are led and recruited by the Young Ambassadors Society.

In 2022, the Y20 Summit will be held in Jakarta and Bandung in Indonesia from July 17th to 24th.

The 4 delegates will be called to discuss the following topics:

1. Youth employment

2. Digital transformation

3. Sustainability

4. Inclusion and equal opportunities

In 2022, the Y7 Summit will be held in Germany in May.

The 4 delegates will be called to discuss the following topics:

1. Sustainability

2. Technology and digital

3. Global economy

4. Health

To become part of the Italian Delegations of Y20 and Y7, candidates must be between 19 and 30 years old.

(b) Regarding the role of young people in climate change action, the following initiatives connected to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (Glasgow, United Kingdom, November 2021) have to be mentioned:

"Youth4Climate Live Series: Driving Momentum Towards Pre-COP26"

As part of the initiatives organized in the run-up to 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (Glasgow, United Kingdom, November 2021), in June 2020, the Italian Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with Connect4Climate - World Bank Group and the Office of Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, launched an ambitious program of virtual and interactive meetings for young people around the world, which aimed to keep attention high towards the role of young people in climate change action.

The webinars program, entitled "Youth4Climate Live Series: Driving Momentum Towards Pre-COP26", included one meeting per month, from June 2020 to February 2021. The topics were divided into general macro-themes, which aimed to combine the negotiation on climate change with policies for sustainable development at a global level, starting with those promoted by the United Nations agencies, placing young people at the center of the action. The following topics were discussed: green and sustainable recovery, adaptation, resilience, local action, innovation and business. Each meeting was hosted on an interactive platform, through which the young participants were able to share information, ask questions and present proposals.

"Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition"

The special event"Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition"held in Milan from 28 to 30 September 2021 in 2021 involved nearly 400 young people between the ages of 15 and 29 from 186 countries to address the main urgencies and priorities of climate action.

The event was part of the process of involving young people, which began in 2019, also thanks to the support of Italy, at the United Nations Youth Summit on Climate, held in New York on 21 September 2019.

This event, organized by the Italian Government, in partnership with the United Kingdom, dedicated the first two days to the development of a declaration, while the last day was characterized by a discussion on the declaration between the young delegates and the Ministers present at the COP26.

The young delegates formed four working groups divided into the following thematic areas: young people who lead ambition, sustainable recovery, commitment of non-state actors, a climate conscious society.


Every Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is preceded by a preparatory meeting held about a month before, called Pre-COP. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a selected group of countries with an informal setting to discuss and exchange views on some key political aspects of the negotiations and offer political guidance for subsequent negotiations.

ThePre-COP took place from 30 September to 2 October 2021, attended by around 40 countries including representatives of the UNFCCC secretariat, the presidents of the convention's subsidiary bodies and a number of civil society actors.

Mission 2 PNRR

More recently, mission 2 of the PNRR (green revolution and ecological transition) has expressed the need to achieve a full ecological and digital transition, also to recover all those employment gaps that penalize young people in contemporary society. More than 31% of the total amount of the Plan is allocated to the implementation of the projects included in this specific mission.

If we look at the set of measures and allocations foreseen, it emerges how much the whole plan is permeated by the idea that to speed up the transition it is necessary to invest heavily in technological innovation - clean technologies - by intervening on large urban agglomerations, which represent size and type are those standardizable markets capable of producing sufficient economies of scale for the new technologies to become economically competitive. Reintroducing nature into the proposed development model is a great chance for change, which can reconnect innovation devices with local economies, highly educated young people even in sectors such as information technology and engineering who can find job opportunities in apparently distant sectors. . These are areas that hold together the primary sector and the knowledge economy and that can make us see territories still in the process of depopulation as places where it is possible to build a sustainable future, where it is possible to spend new skills for the younger generations.