Four students walking on the street

Scope

This regional spotlight provides a deeper understanding of the perceptions, attitudes, challenges and readiness of young people in Afghanistan, Bangladesh Pakistan and Sri Lanka around climate vulnerability and their action plan for the looming threats. It puts forward recommendations for effective youth engagement around climate action, and includes regional youth narratives that are helping to inform negotiations at COP26.

Key insights

  • There are systemic barriers to meaningful youth engagement in all four countries, especially amongst vulnerable and marginalised groups; more than 80 per cent of young people in the region are unaware of COP26 and their possible role in informing it.
  • Nearly 86 per cent of participants in Afghanistan think their communities are more climate-vulnerable in the wake of COVID-19; nine in ten participants in Bangladesh agree that climate change will be the biggest threat in the future. 
  • Seven in ten participants in Sri Lanka have never participated in climate change awareness or mitigation activities, but feel they have an important role in climate resilience; urban women and girls in Pakistan are twice as likely as urban men and boys to have experienced climate-related incidents.

Supporting young people

The research provides a platform for the ‘unheard’ voices in the climate conversation – South Asia’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, whilst 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 South Asia’s young people. It has also contributed to the Global Youth Letter on Climate Action – a collective statement from young people globally on climate change and action, directly addressing the leaders at COP26.

Reinforcing COP26 priorities

This research is raising awareness amongst global and national leaders and other stakeholders during COP26 around the specific needs and concerns of South Asia’s young people. It has also contributed to the Global Youth Letter on Climate Action – a collective statement from young people globally on climate change and action, directly addressing the leaders at COP26.

Who’s involved?

This is a collaboration between four research partners: Keymakers Consulting (Bangladesh), CSRED (Pakistan) and Slycan Trust (Sri Lanka). The final report was developed by transformation lab Green Box.

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.

Final report forthcoming. Contact James.Perkins@britishcouncil.org for more information.