United States – The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have reaffirmed their commitment to improving children’s development and well-being by expanding renewable energy access and promoting low-carbon measures to protect children from the effects of climate change, unsustainable energy practices, and environmental degradation.
Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, and Fayaz King, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New York. The two organizations agreed to provide policy and technical advice on renewable energy and energy transition to national and local governments, to facilitate education and training to build the skills and competencies required for children and young people to contribute to a sustainable energy future, to enable an exchange of knowledge and best practices, and to provide technical support and access to climate finance for resilient infrastructure supporting children and youth.
Building on existing efforts such as IRENA’s Youth Forum and Youth Talk, the collaboration will enhance the voices and engagement of children and youth in international, national, and local decision-making processes.
Ending energy poverty among children is crucial to meeting the Paris Agreement’s and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s goals. Increasing access to and education about renewable energy for children and teens is critical to ensuring a just and inclusive energy transition and genuinely leaving no one behind. Renewable energy is a critical enabler that significantly improves the quality, accessibility, and dependability of services that children rely on for survival and well-being, such as health, water and sanitation, education, and improved air quality.