Vietnam is experiencing high economic growth rates, combined with a rapidly growing energy demand. Although the expansion of renewable energies (mostly solar and wind) is gaining momentum, a large proportion of energy is still generated from coal. To advance the energy transition, increased awareness, and sensitization about the overall benefits of fossil-free energy and mobility concepts is necessary. Young people (who make up 70 percent of the total population) have developed an increasing awareness on climate change due to the country’s high vulnerability to its impacts. Yet, they are often excluded from the political decision-making processes and lack the necessary experience, expertise, or institutional support to implement their own ideas about how to advance the energy transition.
Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Climate and Energy Project in Asia and Live and Learn (L&L), Green Youth Labs, a training programme for innovation and a socially equitable energy transition aims to harness the creative potential of young people to develop innovative low carbon model projects and introduce them as future leaders to a low-carbon transformation of society.
The project uses a two-stage training programme to educate youth and young professionals to become "climate ambassadors" who advocate for low-carbon production and climate-friendly use of energy in their community. 150 young participants will receive a basic training on sustainable energy and climate change each year. Through an advance training for 30 selected participants, young people's awareness and skills to contribute to a socially just energy transition and sustainable end-use of energy will be strengthened. Moreover, young people can submit proposals for model projects in their hometowns for the Youth Innovation Challenge. In addition, young people engage with politicians and business leaders as well as the climate movement and experts from Germany to enhance their voice in society and contribute with their own ideas to the transition to a low-carbon development model.
In a Just Transition social justice is at the core of steps necessary to combat climate change. Workers and everyone else affected by the move away from fossil fuels towards sustainable energy sector and beyond must be able to participate in the transition. Their needs must be taken into account and decent work ensured.
Director, FES Asia Climate & Energy Project
Programme Coordinator, Green Youth Labs Project, FES Vietnam