Global Youth Letter

British Council


This research provides a deeper understanding of the perceptions, attitudes, challenges and readiness of young people globally around climate vulnerability and their action plan for the looming threats. The research showcases the voices of more than 8,000 young people, from 23 countries, whose views have contributed to the Global Youth Letter on Climate Action – a collective statement and call for action directly addressing the leaders at COP26.

Key insights

  • Young people around the world are collectively calling for more opportunities to be actively included in climate conversations and policy decisions on climate change.
  • 67 per cent of young people believe their leaders cannot address climate change alone, and many are concerned that the voices of women and minority groups are overlooked in current climate change policy.
  • 75 per cent of young people around the world believe they have the skills to deal with climate change in their communities, yet 69 per cent have never participated in climate action initiatives, due to barriers to meaningful opportunities to get involved.

Supporting young people

The research provides a platform for the ‘unheard’ voices in the climate conversation – the world’s young people – and engages those who would otherwise not have the opportunity to raise their voice, including people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, young women, people from rural areas and other minority and at-risk groups. The research also shines a light on the priorities of young people, and generates informing narratives to address their key needs and concerns, highlighting existing institutional challenges and gaps.

Contributing to climate action

This research is raising awareness amongst global and national leaders and other stakeholders during COP26 around the specific needs and concerns of young people globally, and will continue to do so through the 8,000 Rising campaign, which encourages even more young people globally to pledge their support to the collective statement on climate action. 

Reinforcing COP26 priorities

The research is helping to build trust between the UK and other countries, by promoting the shared values of youth engagement and empowerment, resilience and environmental protection. It also provides collaboration opportunities between the UK and other countries by engaging sector specialists and other partners. 

Who’s involved?

The research was conducted by not-for-profit social enterprise Catalyst in Communities, who were supported by a network of international partners, including sector specialist Adam Sharpe and his team at Rapid Asia.

Why the British Council?

The British Council strengthens global research by drawing on its worldwide network and access to policy makers and wider audiences. In so doing, we help to shape positive perceptions of the UK, support the delivery of transformational change globally, and contribute to the UK’s goal of addressing climate change and species loss in developing countries.

See also