Proposal for a Nordic youth fund for biodiversity and the climate

14.04.21 | News
ungdomar i en workshop
Moa Karlberg
When Greta Tunberg turned down the Nordic Council Environment Prize a couple of years ago, the idea emerged of a fund for young people who want to run projects on biodiversity and the climate. Yesterday, the Nordic Sustainability Committee backed the proposal to set up a fund and is now starting to look at ways of financing it.

The idea is to provide opportunities for young people in the Nordic Region to create structural changes in society. 

“Involving young people in work on climate change and biodiversity will provide much sought-after leadership on social innovation. This new fund shows that decision-makers take young people, their visions and their networks seriously,” comments Emma Tcheng of the Nordic Youth Council (UNR), who was commissioned by the Sustainability Committee to look into the idea and gauge interest among youth organisations.  

Funding a variety of projects

The Nordic Council already funds and works with committed young people who organise around climate and biodiversity issues in the Nordic and Baltic countries, including through ReGeneration2030 and the Nordic Youth Biodiversity Network.

The Committee is now proposing that young people should be able to fund a range of projects that transcend national borders in the Nordic Region, projects that promote innovative solutions and contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Biodiversity Agreement in the Nordic Region.  

“A political milestone”

“The Nordic Region is and will remain the most ambitious region in the world in terms of the climate and biodiversity. Today, we have decided to set up a fund that encourages young people in the Region to assume a leading role and create innovation. Personally, I see that this as a political milestone in Nordic co-operation,” says Ketil Kjenseth MP (NO), the chair of the Nordic Sustainability Committee.

  The proposal is that small, medium-sized or larger climate and environmental projects will all be eligible to apply for funding.  

Ownership by young people

The projects must be managed by people under the age of 30 and involve participants from at least two Nordic countries. 

Who will administer the fund and how it will be financed remain to be decided, but the Committee will contact and consult with environmental funding bodies in the Region on the issue. 

“The idea is to secure broad-based ownership of the new fund by young people. The next step will be to negotiate with different parties about the practicalities of how it will be run,” says Emma Tcheng.  

The proposal will now be put to the Session of the Nordic Council at the end of October. If ratified there, it will be submitted to the Nordic governments as a recommendation.