British Columbia

Clean energy advocates gather in Vancouver for global forum

The Clean Energy Ministerial generally features corporate leaders, government representatives, and clean energy companies — but for the first time in its 10-year history, 55 youth delegates from 30 different countries are included in the event.

For the first time, youth from 30 countries will be included in the event

For the first time this year, 55 youth delegates from 30 different countries are included in the event. (Anitra Paris/Twitter)

Clean energy advocates are gathering in Vancouver this week for an annual global forum aimed at creating a clean energy future by strengthening cooperation between governments, the private sector, and international organizations.

The Clean Energy Ministerial generally features corporate leaders, government representatives, and clean energy companies — but for the first time in its 10-year history, 55 youth delegates from 30 different countries are included in the event.

Helen Watts is the director of innovation and partnerships at Student Energy, a Canadian charity and global not-for-profit that has led the charge to include young people between 18 and 30.

"With this increasing urgency on taking climate action and this rise in global youth movements there's been this increasing appetite recently for young people to be in these spaces," she said.

"These decisions that are being made, it's the young people who are going to be living through those impacts and that are going to be working in the evolving future of work, and driving forward new energy innovations."

'First step is communication'

Felix Schimek, 26, is a youth delegate who travelled to Vancouver from Germany. 

He said he hopes young people's inclusion in the event will empower participants to come to a common understanding about climate mitigation, and collaborate internationally.

"The first step is communication — the best outcome would be to see how we can transfer best practices from different countries to other countries that are lagging behind a bit or have different approaches," he said.

"I really believe that this will come from the youth or from new players [...] we as youth we are a bit more flexible and creative when it comes to finding solutions."

A number of G20 ministers will also be in attendance at the event, including Canada's Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

Previous Clean Energy Ministerials were held in Malmö, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

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