Entries by YEE

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YEE’s Summer Camp on energy policy and environmental law​

YEE's Summer Camp on energy policy and environmental law

Understand issues related to the energy transition and environmental law, and strengthen the capacity of local organisations to push for more ambitious environmental agendas at the local level.

Application deadline: 2nd June 2023

YEE's Summer Camp

Understand issues related to the energy transition and environmental law, and strengthen the capacity of local organisations to push for more ambitious environmental agendas at the local level.

Application deadline: 2nd June 2023

We do not accept applications anymore.

Practical information

  • When

    12 to 16 July 2023

  • Where

    Olomouc, Czechia

  • How

    Register your interest

This event is part of the Legal Seeds 2 and AmPower projects

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What you can expect from the training

Who can apply?

Anyone between the age of 18 and 30 with a keen interest in environmental and energy policy issues

The participation of young people and citizens of Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and Finland will be prioritised, although applications are not geographically limited.

Join our fully funded training opportunity

During the event, YEE will cover accommodation (in a hotel near the city centre of Olomouc, in twin bedrooms), breakfast, 4 lunches and 4 dinners and some coffee breaks. Travel costs will be reimbursed by YEE for up to 200 euros per person (with a possible extension for people travelling from further destinations).

Have questions? Get in touch!



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Advocating for stronger legal protection of rivers in Europe

Advocating for stronger legal protection of rivers in Europe

Why up to 60% of European water bodies are highly polluted?

Rivers - anywhere you are in Europe, there must be a river not far from you. Ancient Greeks would marvel at rivers like Gods. How have we now come to a point in which up to 60% of European water bodies (including rivers) are highly polluted?

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Rivers – anywhere you are in Europe, there must be a river not far from you. Ancient Greeks would marvel at rivers like Gods. How have we now come to a point in which up to 60% of European water bodies (including rivers) are highly polluted?

River Health

The health of water bodies constitutes a major determinant for human food and water quality, which demonstrates how human health is inextricably tied to healthy water body habitats. Rivers, in particular, constitute mobile water bodies which cross vast swathes of Europe while exchanging water, materials, energy and nutrients with their surroundings. Therefore, even though they make up a small percentage of surface freshwater, they have a significant influence on European habitats and their conservation status.

Pollution

Like other surface water bodies, rivers are affected by multiple sources. Point source pollution for example is any identifiable source of pollution, such as wastewater. Its disposal in rivers leads to a high concentration of toxic chemicals, such as cyanide, zinc, lead and copper. Then, diffuse source pollution results from the collective run-off of water used by human activities, particularly in agriculture. It increases the concentration of nitrogen and phosphate in water bodies, which are likely to trigger eutrophication, a situation which adversely threatens biodiversity due to an increased load of nutrients present in the water. Lastly, there are hydromorphological pressures, such as barriers, which may result in habitat alterations which have a series of cascading consequences ranging from higher water temperatures to reduced species’ migration.

Water pollution can have grave consequences for the environment. The safety of drinking water can be jeopardised, entire food chains can be disturbed and there is a likelihood of disease spread (e.g. typhoid, cholera, etc…).

The Water Framework Directive

The European Union, in response to the unfavourable status of water bodies, introduced Directive 2000/60/EC – the Water Framework Directive (WFD) – in 2000.

The purpose of the WFD is “to establish a framework for the protection of inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater” (Article 1). Through the Directive, the EU, therefore, wishes to promote sustainable water use, enhance the protection of aquatic ecosystems, and ensure the progressive reduction of pollution. Member states are required under Article 4 to issue River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) every 6 years, detailing how they will achieve a good water status. A deadline for publishing RBMPs was originally set for 2015; nevertheless, Article 4(4) provided for the possible extension of the deadline to 2027, which includes two more cycles of RBMPs.

For surface waters – like rivers – good status is dependent on a good ecological and good chemical status. The WFD also specifies that when natural circumstances do not allow a good status to be reached (Article 4(4)), or if the restoration is unfeasible or disproportionately expensive (Article 4(6)), an exception can apply to achieve a good water status. Nevertheless, no deterioration of the status is legally acceptable.

As of 2023, most MS have had difficulty realising the ecological ambitions of the WFD.  Furthermore, according to countries’ RBMPs covering the period up to 2015, good or better ecological status has been achieved for only around 40% of surface waters.  The following section will examine the progress (or regress) of the WFD in more detail.

Challenges to the Water Framework Directive

With only four years left to meet the – extended – WFD deadline, the good status targets seem unlikely to be achieved. A study by the Living Waters Europe Coalition revealed that 90% of river basins studied around the EU will fail to reach the criteria specified in the WFD by 2027. In the same vein, a news headline by WWF revealed that “Europe’s rivers [are] nowhere near healthy by [the] 2027 deadline”. It is also noteworthy that a great deal of the water bodies which presented a good water status in 2015, already had the status before the adoption of the WFD.

Moreover, in September 2021, at least nine MS had still not presented their draft plans for all river basins, and RBMPs studied by WWF and the Living Rivers Europe demonstrated that there has been insufficient funding by MS for the Directive’s implementation. Giakoumis and Voulvoulis (2018)  reveal that although the plan is fit for purpose, socioeconomic contexts and the MS’ institutional settings have restricted the opportunities the WFD has brought to the table. This means that these countries will fail to fulfil legally binding requirements.

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How to Sue a State

How to Sue a State

In conversation with the youth behind the Aurora climate lawsuit

How to sue a state - article

Many climate lawsuits are started by young people, including an ongoing climate lawsuit in Sweden led by a group called Aurora, led by over 600 youth and children, including Greta Thunberg, are involved. Three young people from Aurora share their experiences.

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What did we ask?

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What is Aurora

What is Aurora

Quote by Anton Foley, Aurora

Quote by Agnes Hjortberg, Aurora

Quote by Ida Edling, Aurora

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Climate litigation is becoming a hot topic, following an upsurge of legal mobilisations globally. In several countries citizens have come together to sue their states for insufficient climate action, and legal mobilisations have opened up new ways to demand climate justice from those in power. A large share of the lawsuits brought forward are driven by young people, who are suing their states for threatening their future human rights. Examples of recent youth driven climate lawsuits include Juliana v. United States, Duarte Agostinho and Others v. Portugal and Others and Soubeste et. al v. Austria et. al

We had the opportunity to speak to three young people from the organisation Aurora, who are behind an ongoing climate lawsuit in Sweden. On November 25th 2022, Aurora filed a lawsuit against the Swedish state for insufficient climate policies. More than 600 children and youth are behind the lawsuit, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The youth are condemning Sweden’s climate policies to be illegal, as the targets set by the Swedish state are too slow and insufficient, while the  previously set climate targets remain unachieved. Aurora is thus claiming that Sweden is not treating the climate crisis like a crisis

The district court of Nacka (a town in Sweden where the lawsuit was filed), considered the claims to be clear enough to be tried in court. On the 21st of March 2023 the Nacka District Court issued a summons, upon which the Swedish state will have three months time to respond to the case. The case is treated as a class-action lawsuit, meaning that a large group of people in Aurora will be represented by a few members of the organisation. The Swedish state on the other hand will be represented by the Chancellor of Justice.

We will now hear from three young people from Aurora: Agnes Hjortsberg (21), Anton Foley (20) and Ida Edling (23), who will share their experiences of filing a lawsuit as a group of young people.

Agnes Hjortberg

Agnes Hjortsberg

Anton Foley

Anton Foley

Ida Edling

Ida Edling

What breaches are you suing Sweden on?

Ida Edling

Ida

The legal provisions that we say the state has violated is human rights under the European Convention of Human Rights. So we're saying that the Swedish state's lack of sufficient climate measures threatens young people's human rights in the future. We're talking about the human right to life, to health, to dignity, to well-being, to home and to property. And that's Article 2, 3, 8 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights - and it's the first article of the first protocol of the European Convention of Human Rights.

How did you start this process?

Anton Foley​

Anton

A lot of the inspiration to do this came from people who had already done it in other countries. A natural first step, or one of the first steps, was to reach out and make contacts: at the very early stages we had calls and meetings with lawyers and activists who had pursued similar cases in for example Norway, the Netherlands and France. We learned from them both legally how we should approach it, but also how we should approach it organizationally, financially and from a media perspective. And then as we came to terms with what kind of case we wanted to run, or how we should do it, we also had close contact with international climate litigation groups, to sharpen our arguments and learn from their cases.

Thus, I'd say there have been two waves of work:
The first one is just about figuring out what is going on and how we should do this. And then secondly, once we had it more figured out, on the legal and technical side, we could focus on sharpening the arguments.

What type of competences are needed to file this type of lawsuit?

Agnes Hjortberg

Agnes

In Aurora as an organisation, almost none of the youth and children had any knowledge of how to do something like this from previous experience. Of course, we have law students who manage a lot of the law stuff, but when it comes to funding, media and social media, or how to run an organisation and how to take care of each other, it's something we learn as we go.

Anton Foley​

Anton

And we've collected a network of professionals and people who know what they're doing in lots of different areas. For example: legal experts, climate scientists and public relations people to help us figure out how to get our message out there. But also a lot of climate activists helped us figure out what our actual aims are. Because there are lots of ways you could structure this legally, but not all would be desirable for what we actually want to achieve. Thus, “where are we going” is the first question we need to answer. Then, “what do we want to achieve? “ and thirdly “how can we use law as a tool to achieve that?”

Ida Edling

Ida

I think that the way we have decided to structure our work within the Aurora case is quite unique. And we've heard that from people who have worked with many different climate cases in other countries too, that our work culture is original because we have a very mixed work culture. We are completely led by youth who have no particular academic background, but who are firmly rooted in what we're actually trying to do. Like Anton was saying, the direction we're actually headed in. And then on the same decision making level or level below even, we have the actual competences. So this democratic way of working together from different age groups and different competence levels is unique I think, and has proven to be very dynamic and successful for us.

What would be your advice to a group of young people wanting to start something similar? What is the first thing to start with?

Agnes Hjortberg

Agnes

One thing we've begun doing is creating a network of youth doing this all over the world. For example we have contacts in Norway, South Korea, Austria, and the Netherlands. I think one of the first steps is to reach out to one of those groups. We've had meetings with new groups, but we have also been the new group in other meetings. I think using the platforms and networks available is a good tool.

Anton Foley​

Anton

Yeah, and I think in general, if you're young and you want to make a difference in this or any social or environmental cause, the most important thing to do is to start from where you are and use whatever expertise, interest and platform you have available to you. And if you have a big idea, just go for it! We were just a group of people who thought this would be a cool thing to do and then we started talking to people who knew what they were doing. And then it took a while but over time we assembled this sort of group. And I think that, it sounds very cliche, but just do it, go for it and see where you end up.

Nobody thinks they're going to start a global movement when for example deciding to school strike. You just do it because it's the right thing to do and then people sort of catch on. So, I think that wherever you are, start affecting change in your community and whatever spaces you are active in, in school, student unions, trade unions, religious groups, and wherever else you are active. Just start making a difference and speaking up in those circles and then see where it takes you.

Ida Edling

Ida

Yeah, educate yourselves, take action and then take inspiration and learn from those who have done similar things before you, because you don't have to reinvent the wheel!

The three steps that we advise other youth groups to take, if they also want to sue their states, is to: First find each other and then find competence, find lawyers and scientists, and then find money. Because you will need money. But also remember that all types of legitimate action is vital for sufficient climate action. So, litigation is one way but every other way is also valuable.

How can other young people or youth organisations support Aurora?

Ida Edling

Ida

The first thing is to do what you're doing, continue to raise awareness of the climate crisis, continue to push for urgent action in the climate crisis, continue to try to make people in power see that the way we use Earth today is dangerous and won't last. And try to change that in a way that you're already doing, because that will help us all. We're one movement trying to achieve climate justice and everyone needs to do it in their way and every legitimate way is valuable.

But then if you concretely want to help our particular cause, we are always in need of money, because holding the state accountable for violations of human rights is very, very expensive in Sweden. And so this would not have been possible without extensive economic support from the public, and here every contribution matters.

Agnes Hjortberg

Agnes

And also if you're a youth in Sweden and you are interested in Aurora, you can also join Aurora! We always need more people!

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Liberalisation of the energy sector | Webinar Recap

Liberalisation of the energy sector | Webinar Recap

Overview of the EU’s legislative system and the energy sector liberalisation

European Energy Sector

Learn about the positive and negative outcomes of the liberalisation process, and how energy communities could play a major role in the green transition.

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European Energy Sector

European Energy Sector

European Energy Sector

European Energy Sector

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Liberalisation of the energy sector

The liberalisation of the European energy sector was the continuation of the European Union’s effort to create a European single market.

The underlying idea is that the creation of an economic union would naturally bring European countries closer together leading to further political integration, thus guaranteeing peaceful inter-state relations.

The main purpose of the liberalisation process was to organise the provision of electricity and gas more efficiently by introducing competitive forces where possible and regulation where needed.

Main barrier to the liberalisation of the energy sector

Up until the 90’s the energy sector was structured around national monopolies preventing any kind of competition to emerge.

A major step in this process was thus to break down national monopolies or what is referred to as “unbundling”.

The first “unbundling” obligations appeared with the 1st energy package (1996-98) and required the separation of generation, transmission, distribution, and retail activities.

Secondly, to increase cross-border exchanges the EU massively invested in interconnections. The European interconnected grid is now the largest in the world with 400 interconnectors (cross border pipeline and electric cables) linking 600 million citizens.

What are the results of this process?

Positive aspects

Negative aspects

What are Energy Communities (or energy cooperative)?

Legal entities of citizens getting together around an energy transition project.

They run around 7 main principles :

  1. Voluntary and open membership
  2. Democratic member control
  3. Member economic participation
  4. Autonomy and independence
  5. Education, training and information
  6. Cooperation among cooperatives
  7. Concern for Community

Why are they so relevant to the energy transition?

It is estimated that half of the European citizens could produce their own electricity, covering about 45 % of the overall electricity demand.

89 % of the population could get involved in some energy system activity (for instance with the spreading of electric cars, households could offer energy storage services. Modern appliances like smart metres, remote control thermostats, electric vehicles etc. can offer demand response services*)

Energy cooperatives can get involved in a wide range of activities such as

Production • Supply • Distribution • Flexibility •Storage • Demand response •Energy monitoring •District heating • Transportation – E-car sharing • Energy savings – Collective home retrofits

*demand response: increased flexibility from the demand side to adapt consumption to the available generation.
On top of the technical advantages that the multiplication of energy communities could bring, these structures also fulfil a major social element of the green transition: Citizen engagement. The green transition is not only about switching from dirty to clean energy sources it is rethinking our entire economy and our consumption pattern. By giving the opportunity to our citizens to get directly involved in the energy chain, we create a population more aware of its own consumption and conscient of the behavioral changes needed to achieve our ambitious climate targets.

Major barriers to the creation of energy communities:

  •  • Access to funding
  •  • Lack of upfront investments and specific skills: Volunteer-based & lack financial skills. More risk aversion.
  •  • Lack of knowledge from financing institutions: banks don’t recognize the new and innovative business models of energy communities
  •  • Lack of streamlined/stable Government financing mechanisms: public finance can de-risk and mobilise further community & private capital

Want to learn more?

Watch this video explanation of the virtue of energy communities

 

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Intersectional Ecofeminism

Intersectional Ecofeminism

A Paramount Approach In Environmental Activism

Intersectional Ecofeminism

We have all heard activists and seen studies claim that women lead better and are peacemakers as they favour intuition and collaboration, so, could ecofeminism really be the ultimate solution for the environmental debacle we are facing?

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Intersectional Ecofeminism

Intersectional Ecofeminism

Intersectional Ecofeminism

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“We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.” – Vandana Shiva.  

Many women have been remarkably stepping into environmental advocacy spaces to make their voices heard, but how important is it to integrate both feminism and climate activism in our advocacy discourse?

We have all heard activists and seen studies claim that women lead better and are peacemakers as they favour intuition and collaboration, so, could ecofeminism really be the ultimate solution for the environmental debacle we are facing?

The birth of ecofeminism

As we all may know, women are one of the main groups that are at the frontline of climate activism since they are particularly affected by the environmental crisis (80% of the people being displaced by climate change are women according to UN Environment), which is why special attention towards women and the climate change effects on them is needed. This is notably explored by ecofeminism.

The term ‘ecofeminism’ was first coined by the renowned French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne, who described it to be a branch of feminism that explores the connections between women and nature. What is also interesting about Ecofeminism is that it digs deeply into how both women and the environment are at risk as a result of the patriarchal rule. As a matter of fact, patriarchy has always been strongly linked with capitalism which explains the simultaneous exploitation of both natural resources and women as a social class.

Some not-so-fun facts worth mentioning are that 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty are women. In urban areas, 40% of the poorest households are headed by women. Women predominate in the world’s food production (50%-80%), but they own less than 10% of the land.

Ecofeminism is believed to be more respectful of nature and women as it decenters males and abolishes hierarchies, men are then not thought to be superior to women or nature. Although ecofeminism originated in Europe, the actual movement started in the USA during the late 1970s and early 1980s, where it took a more inclusive turn as it coincided with the rise of intersectional feminism. Intersectional ecofeminism holistically plunges into the living conditions of women from different backgrounds and dissects the inequalities they endure through an environmentalist lens. It is then considered to be the ideal activistic paradigm. 

Why intersectionality is a necessity

While addressing the struggles of women in the context of climate change, the term “women” tends to be vague as they are not a homogeneous group, they actually exist on a large spectrum that should be meticulously analysed hence the need for an intersectional approach.

Intersectionality sheds light on different issues faced by various women, such as the different geographical contexts. As a matter of fact, women face different challenges based on where they’re from. For example, in areas that are prone to droughts, women often face different struggles than men. Environmental degradation such as droughts often leads to economic instability, and as a result, women may have to give up on resources such as education in order to support the family.

Ecofeminism recognises how gender roles make us experience our environment and nature differently, and how different gender roles may experience different consequences.  Another example is how women in some contexts are forced to travel long distances to collect fuel, food, and water which subjects them to security risks and gender-based violence. Moreover, in Mexico and Central America between 2016 and 2019, about 1,698 acts of violence were recorded against female human rights defenders.

Different journeys equal different constraints

All struggling communities should then be provided with a platform that allows them to speak up about their experiences and share their stories that are a testament to their resilience. We can never do justice to the representation of the different journeys led by different women in the context of climate change, however, the best we can do is to make their names known, especially the non-white and underrated ones like Isatou Ceesay, Vandana Shiva, Susan Chomba, Sônia Guajajara and many others.

Going back to the initial question, women have the ability to make this world a better place: they are the backbones of their communities and the shapers of the future that we can’t overlook the importance of their role in eradicating the climate crisis, empowering them locally and globally could definitely revolutionise our dystopian foreseeable future.

So, if you were to envision a non-patriarchal world where women were predominantly leaders, don’t you also think that our history and present would have been vastly different? 

Recommendations

If you want to explore this topic more, check out the podcast “Outrage + Optimism”, episode number 191.

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Introducing Rahim | Showcasing the Unheard









Contents

Learn more about the project

We need more women in our community

Rahim Zehdiev, a 27-year-old volunteer and green ambassador at Young Improvers for Youth Development in Smolyan, Bulgaria, is passionate about creating positive changes in his community and empowering young people, particularly in environmental issues. He is involved in various projects aiming to address environmental challenges and empower young individuals from marginalised communities.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who’s Rahim?

I am Rahim Zehdiev, a 27-year-old volunteer and a green ambassador at Young Improvers for Youth Development in Smolyan, Bulgaria. As a member of a marginalised group, I have always been passionate about creating positive changes and empowering communities, especially when it comes to environmental issues. 

What are the projects you are working on?

So I got involved with the Young Improvers through their initiative focused on environmental sustainability and youth development. And their mission aligns with my own values and aspirations and I saw an opportunity to make a meaningful impact in my community. I’m involved in their projects like in Erasmus and in European Solidarity Corps. So, I see it as though it’s my own mission.

What’s the mission about? 

It’s like a mission because I see the need for change in our community, in our local community and in our community in Bulgaria as well. I want to start involving young people in these projects. So they get empowered and we can together aim for a change. 

What kind of communities are you engaging? 

I come from a community of Muslim population, we are a minority in Bulgaria. And we face a lot of problems. Things are changing for the better, but we have a lot of issues from the past.

I’m addressing these problems right now with the European projects. When we attend projects abroad, we meet people like us and together, we find better solutions for our problems, because we have a lot of similar issues. And it gives us a shared sense of belonging for us when we share our problems. 

How do you engage the local minority?

We are trying to involve a lot of young people in my village, in the area around as well, by attracting them with a lot of things, because nowadays people are not too engaged. We find it difficult to find people who are willing to do activism and volunteer because they are easily distracted by everything else. And it’s even harder in my community because they are marginalised, and they have a lot of different views from the ordinary European people. That is because they are more conservative than the regular Europeans. And it’s very hard, but we find some ways to attract them. 

But it’s even more difficult to have a gender balance. We are a lot of boys, and we have like one, two, or three girls in the group. So firstly it’s hard to find people, and then it’s hard to strike a gender balance and to battle the conservative views. It’s really hard, but we are improving every day, and we are finding people in the end.

What do your projects look like? 

So our project is aiming to address environmental challenges and empower young individuals from marginalized communities. Our projects involve various activities such as awareness campaigns, educational workshops, and community engagement initiatives. So the projects are created to amplify the voices of those who are often underrepresented or misunderstood in the environmental movement and sustainable change.

What does activism mean to you?

Activism is really important for me because it is the main thing which can change things, and is the force to change something from bad to the better. And that’s exactly what we are trying to do here in my village, in the region, and in Bulgaria as well. 

Can you tell me about your personal journey?

Back in 2018, I participated in a project in Turkey in an Erasmus training course and it was the very first experience of these projects for me and that’s when everything started for me. Before that I didn’t know anything about activism, I didn’t know anything about volunteering and then with each new project I participated in, I started to be more active and to volunteer. First of all in our local community, in local projects and then abroad with the YEE team and I have participated in more than 20 projects since then. On the local level I even applied for our own projects and even had my own project in my village for building a youth space here.

What’s next for you?

I am thinking about applying for more projects. I will also participate in some projects with our partners in Europe and abroad. But the local projects are the most important for me.

“Because we have to change ourselves first, then we can share good examples abroad.”

What kind of projects would you want to do in your community right now? 

I want to make a screening event to project a movie against the plastic waste in our youth space. I want to play that movie because there is a big issue with plastic waste. Especially older people think that plastic is degradable in water and they throw the trash into the river. We have great nature here but the people do not appreciate it and they’re throwing everything into the river and it gets really messed up. 

So I’m not only trying to gain younger people, I’m trying to show even the eldest people here what is wrong. We host a lot of movie screenings, seminars and meetings. We also hosted a climate-themed game. 

What was the idea of the game?

It was a card game about climate change, what are its causes and how can we prevent it. It was really nice and a lot of young people gathered but sadly there were no women. This really saddened me, but I’m trying to improve this. I’m trying to fix this and I will do it. 

If you could send a message out to these people that you would like to engage more, what would you tell them? 

We need change. And we can be the change, because if we don’t act, if we don’t get involved, no one will. And the change is not going to happen by itself. It’s not easy, I know, but we can do it.

Other interviews



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15th Task Force on Access to Justice | Statements of the Environmental Law Team

15th Task Force on Access to Justice | Statements of the Environmental Law Team

The Environmental Law Team of YEE actively participated in the 15th Task Force on Access to Justice in Geneva, sharing valuable insights.

The Environmental Law Team of YEE participated in the 15th Task Force on Access to Justice, which took place in Geneva from 4 to 5 April 2023. During the meeting, Emma and Alex delivered their statements, contributing to the exchange of information and best practices regarding the implementation of the Aarhus Convention’s access to justice pillar.

The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences, and best practices related to the implementation of the Convention’s access to justice pillar. The focus of the meeting was on access to justice in cases concerning climate change and biodiversity protection, with discussions covering current trends, barriers, challenges, good practices, and innovative approaches in these areas.

Aarhus Taskforce statement by YEE

Summary of Emma’s statement regarding the tools to promote Access to Justice

The latest IPCC report emphasizes that climate change will mainly impact children and young people, highlighting the need for long-term considerations and intergenerational equity in environmental legislation. Young people also face challenges in exercising their rights under the Aarhus Convention. The Aarhus Convention is important for environmental democracy, granting the public rights in environmental matters to protect the rights of present and future generations. Strengthening multi-stakeholder dialogue can ensure easier youth access to decision-making processes and hold institutions accountable.

It is extremely urgent to safeguard access to justice in energy-related cases, especially in light of the acceleration the energy transition is going through: its fast pace leaves big gaps and errors, and the Aarhus Convention has a crucial role in filling them.

Summary of Alex’s statement regarding Access to Justice in energy-related cases

Dependency on fossil fuel imports hampers energy independence and is finite, posing a threat to future generations. The Aarhus provisions play a crucial role in ensuring that energy supply in the EU has a positive impact on nature and communities. However, legislative proposals may impede access to justice in energy-related cases, prioritising renewable energy development over environmental protection and community engagement. The Aarhus rights, including access to justice, play a crucial role in promoting renewable energy, environmental protection, and public participation.

Learn more about the Aarhus Convention

Why Aarhus State Parties fall short of their obligation to guarantee the right to public participation of young people in environmental decision-making?


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The EU is in breach of its obligations under the Aarhus Convention. Young people all over Europe are joining civil society organizations


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“Healthy Youth” project | Member Organisations News

“Healthy Youth” project | Member Organisations News

Another international youth project of our member organization Umbrella took place on January
21-30 in Overijse, Belgium and where 40 young people from 8 countries participated within the
framework of the “Healthy Youth” project, financed by Erasmus+.

For Georgian youth organization Umbrella, the year 2023 (January 21-30) began with an international youth project where 40 young people  representing 8 countries (Belgium, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Portugal, and Moldova) and gathered in Overijse, Belgium, within the framework of the Healthy Youth project.  

During the 8 working days, young people developed and implemented various workshops about healthy lifestyles, and exchanged personal and country’s good practices. At the same time, they discussed how to lead healthy lifestyles and change bad habits into green habits through digital tools and appropriate methods. Besides this, they had an awareness-raising rally in the town and a local visit to the Belgium EuroHealthNet organization.

The participants developed tools, like a poster, video, and a booklet – a  treasury of all ideas developed or information gathered during the project. As a result, increased their digital, multilingual, personal, social and other competencies. Besides this, they enriched Europass’s CVs with an officially recognized Youthpass certificate.

At the end of the youth exchange, the participants developed an action plan to disseminate the results of the project, which was implemented at the local level within a month. In parallel with all of this, cultural and religious customs and traditions not only awakened their curiosity for learning new things but also expanded their mindset on a cultural level.

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European energy policy | Webinar

European energy policy

EU Energy Policy: 30 Years of Liberalisation and the Emergence of Energy Communities

European energy policy​

EU Energy Policy: 30 Years of Liberalisation and the Emergence of Energy Communities

Practical information

  • When

    Friday 17th April 2023 at 17h CEST

  • Where

    Online

  • How

    Register your interest

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Are you interested in knowing more about the European energy policy?

 
Learn about the liberalisation process of the energy sector in the EU since the 1990s and its impact on end consumers. Discover the concept of energy communities, which has recently been introduced in EU law, and how it is set to transform the energy landscape by encouraging citizen participation in the energy transition.
 

About the experts

 

Chris Vrettos is leading a project designed to help Member States assess whether their national funding programs (Cohesion Funds, Modernisation Funds, Recovery and Resilience Funds) are dedicating specific funds towards energy communities and if this is done in line with EU legislation.

 

 

 

Paul Ségalard has a degree in Energy and Climate law and is the leader of the Ampower project at YEE

 

Did you miss this webinar?

Download the presentations or read our recap and learn more about the European energy policy and energy communities!

Have questions? Get in touch!



Other upcoming events

Agnes Gkoutziamani runs for the Advisory Council on Youth 2024/2025

Agnes Gkoutziamani runs for the Advisory Council on Youth 2024/2025

Agnes Gkoutziamani, our Advocacy Manager, is representing Youth and Environment Europe (YEE), for the AC CoE 2024/2025 election.

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Agnes'

priorities

include:

HOW? 

  • 🟡 By simplifying policies and building the needed capacity for members of the European Youth Forum in order to create new ways of participation
  • 🟡 Inspired by the Council of Europe, ensuring implementation of the co-managed policy-making within national and local levels by creating an interactive template format for adoption.  

  • 🟡 Working closely with European Youth Forum member organisations which are an access point for marginalised young people and creating an effective channel of communication to voice their views to the Council of Europe.
  • 🟡 Working closely with the Drafting Group of the Recommendation Paper on Climate Crisis and young people, to ensure the final document reflects the needs and prospects of young people in this fight. 
  • 🟡 Increase access to opportunities for youth to directly participate in decision-making. Young people continue to play a significant role in environmental, political and social movements, but the momentum of this on-the-ground action is not leveraged to transform policy and decision-making processes, limiting their capacity to accelerate impact.
  • 🟡 Build leadership development programmes within institutions to establish the next pipeline of talent that is empowered with both capacity building, institutional knowledge and the resources required to grow into leadership positions.

HOW?

  • 🟡 There are no human rights if we do not have a healthy environment to live in. Council of Europe member states are still divided about this, and with the Reykjavik Summit around the corner, it is our turn to set our motion clear: right to a healthy environment should be part of our human rights. 
  • 🟡 Youth-led litigation is so powerful, so why not switch to youth led mitigation and guarantee our right to a healthy environment?
  • 🟡 Youth can bring a strong intergenerational youth perspective and contribute to “greening” human rights.
  • 🟡 Promoting the concept of climate justice to be added in the top of the agenda of the CoE as the division among north and south is increasing social inequalities, creating two pace societies when there is only one planet. 

HOW?

  • 🟡 Advocating for Advisory Council to have regular consultations with national representatives in order to strengthen the voices of all the Members.
  • 🟡 Promoting the cruciality of funding to youth to ensure that no one is left behind
  • 🟡 Ensuring that all the youth representations include young people from marginalised communities and rural areas, as youth is not a homogenous group
  • 🟡 Ensuring that organised and unorganised youth are acknowledged, represented and youth workers are trained and follow safeguarding policies to access and protect those young people. 
  • 🟡 Raising awareness and advocating for the inclusion of young people affected by the conflict: The Russian aggression against Ukraine has had a significant impact on the lives of young people living in the affected areas;  support and resources should be prioritised to the youth affected in order to guarantee peace and security.

Get to know

our candidate

Agnes Gkoutziamani

  • Background

    Agnes comes from Northern Greece, from a small rural town.

  • Studies

    She studied Law and has gained two Master's Degrees, one in International & European Legal Studies and one in Energy and Climate Law.

  • Work

    She works at YEE as the Advocacy Manager.

  • Other activities

    She is a co-founder of a non-formal youth club in her hometown promoting rural youth’s rights.

Have questions? Get in touch!