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: https://consiglionazionale-giovani.it/2021/02/26/verso-la-conferenza-nazionale-per-lo-sviluppo-sostenibile-insieme-per-il-futuro-un-rilancio-sostenibile-per-litalia/)..
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.
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:
Y20 – Italia 2021
For the first time in history, in 2021, Italy will host the Y20 Summit, the official youth engagement group of the G20 Italy. The Y20 will be organised by the Young Ambassadors Society and will take place in Milan and Bergamo at the end of July 2021.
YAS is now reviewing the applications to recruit the three Italian Delegates (aged between 18 and 30 at the time of the Summit) that will attend the Summit (https://www.youngambassadorssociety.it/application2021y20/).
The delegates will be called to address the following themes:
- Sustainability, Climate Change and Environment
- Innovation, Digitalization and Future of Work
The outcome of the discussions will be collected in a communiqué, which will be presented to the G20 leaders.
Y7 - UK 2021
The Y7 Summit will take place in the UK in May 2021. The Young Ambassadors Society completed the recruiting of the four Italian Delegates (aged between 18 and 30 at the time of the Summit) that will attend the Summit (https://www.youngambassadorssociety.it/application2021y7/).
The delegates will be called to address the following themes:
- Digital and Technology
- Global Economy
The outcome of the discussions will be collected in a communiqué, which will be presented to the G7 leaders.
(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"will take place in Milan on 28-30 September.
Almost 400 young people aged between 15 and 29 from the 197 member-countries of the UNFCCC (maximum limit 2 per country) will meet to elaborate concrete proposals on topics that affect the negotiation process of Pre-COP26 in Milan (30 September - 2 October 2021) and COP26 in Glasgow (1 - 12 November 2021).
The meeting in Milan is part of the process of involvement of young people, which started in 2019, thanks to the support of Italy, with the United Nations Youth Climate Summit, held in New York on 21 September 2019.
The event will offer young people from all over the world the opportunity to develop concrete proposals for Pre-COP26 in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow. The first two days will be dedicated to working groups, while the last day to a discussion between the young delegates and the Ministers attending the Pre-COP26.
The selection of the young participants will be carried out by the Office of the UN Secretary General's Youth Envoy in collaboration with YOUNGO (the Youth Constituency at the UNFCCC), and an ad hoc Advisory Committee that is being set up. Italy will support the travel and accommodation expenses of the selected participants.
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.
The Pre-COP will be held in Milan on 30 September – 2 October 2021. The event will be attended by 35 to 40 countries, representatives of the UNFCCC Secretariat, the chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention and a number of stakeholders who play a key role in the fight against climate change or in the transition to sustainable development.
The Pre-Cop26, that will be held in Milan on 30 September-2 October, is a special event in which, for the first time, young people will personally bring a contribution to the negotiations.