Environmental Advocacy

Why do we do advocacy?

YEE believes there is a need to include the youth perspective in environmental advocacy.

We are advocating for ambitious, inclusive action to address climate change.

We call for business leaders, politicians and all decision-makers to finally take into account the concerns and demands of young people. They should address the consequences that climate change is taking on youth and our communities.

The YEE AWG tackles this through 8 topics: Green Europe, Climate Change, Environmental Governance, Biodiversity, Oceans & Arctic, Sustainable Energy,  Climate Crisis and Environmental Law.

Our portfolio

Ocean Conservation

There is a lack of ocean literacy. We spread awareness to youth about environmental concerns linked to ocean and marine conservation issues by spreading ocean and marine literacy. We do targeted advocacy work toward the UN Ocean affairs and the Law Convention of the Sea, national governments initiatives. We aim at gathering all youth movements active on these issues in Europe.

Climate Crisis

We stand for climate justice wherever we are. We are striving for stronger regional and international agreements and implementation rooted in social justice, consensus and intergenerational principles. We are very active in the UNFCCC where we bring youth from marginalized European communities to COPs.

Sustainable Energy

We believe in a more sober Europe where energy sources come from real sustainable sources. We have started this work to deepen our work around nuclear energy and build expertise and partnerships with anti-fossil fuels groups in Europe.

Biodiversity and Conservation

We believe biodiversity conservation processes have been dominated by a particular set of actors. We work at empowering young people and movements to decolonise conservation. We are very active in the Convention on Biological Diversity and IUCN.

Environmental Law and Litigation

We aim at becoming a hub for young people and youth movements who want to start their own climate litigation initiatives. We are active in the Aarhus Convention, the European UN treaty supposedly ensuring access to justice and public participation. It has been systematically undermined by European countries.

Environmental Governance

We believe that global environmental governance lacks intergenerational perspectives and a good understanding of the economic diversity of European countries. We are the Regional focal point to UNEP’s youth constituency where we bring young Europeans to key environmental international events.

Green Cities

As we are a network of grassroot movements, we are working with recipients of the EU Green Capital Award to extend our outreach to youth movements everywhere in Europe. We have partnered with Lahti and Grenoble respectively for the Green Capital award 2021 and 2022.

Green Europe

As many G7 and G20 countries are from the European continent, we advocate for more climate and environmental actions rooted in social justice from key countries. We work with different partners and our members in Western Europe.

Advocacy team

In August 2020, Youth and Environment Europe set up new Advocacy Working group – an ambitious initiative to ensure even stronger participation of young people in environmental and climate governance processes, building closer links with decision-makers and advocating for action on climate change.

Who are the advocacy officers?

While committed to specific and diverse tasks, the volunteer liaison officers effectively make a team – the Advocacy Working Group – intended to support each other. 

The team is currently made up of 9 Liaison Officers who focus on various themes, as well as an advocacy manager, an advocacy coordinator and a communications coordinator.

How does the advocacy team work together?

Our advocacy team is operating on a volunteering basis. YEE has been hosting volunteers for over ten years. With a decade of experience working with volunteers, we can ensure a positive and supportive work environment with many opportunities for professional and personal growth. We value diversity, learning from each other, and intercultural learning.

All advocacy officers report to and are directly supported by the YEE Advocacy Manager and Advocacy Coordinator. The team members have regular meetings and attend also different YEE meetings and activities.

Concretely, the advocacy working group meets once every two weeks and in between, the Coordinator and Manager conduct one-on-one check-ins. While each Liaison Officer has a specific portfolio, teamwork is maintained by the joint projects and campaigns we lead, such as #ClimateOfChange or #LightsOnAarhus.

Advocacy team members are expected to be present at online meetings and to contribute within their capacities to the functioning of the working group. Since we are all operating on a volunteer basis, we are respectful of varying capacities as many of our volunteers are university students or young professionals. We always make sure to create a safe space for everyone to share opinions and experiences in a respectful way.

What does the team do?

Some of the work tasks of advocacy officers include: officially representing YEE in regard to partner organisations, attending external meetings and events, strengthening communication, and directing advocacy with some of our partner organisations. Together, the team aim to

  • Bridge the gap with policy-makers on environmental and climate European and international decision-making processes;
  • Ensure that young Europeans are present in climate and environmental decision-making processes both at the UN level and the European level;
  • Coordinate our members’ organisations’ advocacy actions and support their advocacy work and campaigns.

Essentially, we are advocating for increased youth participation in environmental governance and processes, cleaner oceans, more ambitious climate goals and increased protection of biodiversity.

News from the Advocacy Working Group