Engaging Youth in Energy Transition: The European Youth Energy Network (EYEN)

The main subject of this September 2022 issue of the Youth Employment Magazine is “Greening Youth: The role of Youth in the context of climate emergency”, and in this article we talk about The European Youth Energy Network (EYEN), whose purpose is exactly this: to “[…] place youth at the heart of the European energy transition”.

Cowork4YOUTH is a project that aims to examine and suggest policies concerning young people up to 29 years old in Italy, Spain, Ireland and Greece, with a special focus on young mothers and the long-term unemployed – but not in any random regions. The areas chosen to be scrutinised are the tourism-dependent, island or remote coastal regions on the one hand, and, most importantly for the subject of this article, regions facing energy transition, decarbonisation or intense industrial decline. Cowork4YOUTH is not affiliated to the EYEN, but we closely follow any initiative in fields relevant to our research. Both the insight that networks such as EYEN can provide, as well as their positioning in the policy-making field and their potential influence on the policy agenda can be important for our analysis.

The goal of the EYEN is to bring together youth organisations across Europe that focus on energy transition, and through their collaboration to place youth at the heart of the energy transition, with a shared aim and perspective of this long process whose limits are not yet well defined.. The EYEN’s roots lay in 2019, when a team of European youths travelled as delegates to the 10thClean Energy Ministerial 4thMission Innovation (CEM10MI4) – a global forum aiming to promote policies and strategies that “facilitate the transition to a global clean energy system”. The European youth delegates at the forum, however, were not allowed to  attend the ministerial meetings due to age limits that were set with the reasoning of “too young to participate”; a fact that motivated some of them to take action to ensure young people’s participation in public debate and direct connection with policy makers rather than playing a decorative role. Thus, the EYEN was born.

The EYEN membership consists of non-profit youth organisations with focus on energy, and its role is to represent, engage and educate youth in energy or climate policymaking. Through participation in the EYEN, youth organisations get to “connect with youth, other members and more stakeholders in the Energy field”, “share and stay informed about success stories from EYEN and its members” and “be empowered”.

For more information on the EYEN Network, visit the site: https://youthenergy.eu/

and for more info about the Cowork4YOUTH project, click here: https://www.cowork4youth.org/



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