Youth Corner
Published on April 12, 2024

Youth Speak: Climate Action as a Driving Force of Sustainable Development

Climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution – the triple planetary crisis – are deeply interlinked crises underpinned by unsustainable consumption and production. Effectively tackling them requires a profound transformation of existing socio-economic systems, to change how people live, consume and produce, and our collective relationship to the planet in our path to prosperity. At its core, this requires a decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation. 

Alperen Koçsoy, a youth champion from Turkiye, sheds light on the path forward: “New economic opportunities on the green transition, new technologies such as green hydrogen, and rising awareness on climate change are some of the opportunities that we have. But we must fulfil these opportunities. We need to change our consuming habits, we need to question our current economic system which is based on irresponsible and unlimited growth.”

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change sets an overarching goal to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (1). To limit global warming to 1.5°C, greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43 per cent by 2030 (2).

Maryam Kiyani, a youth champion from Pakistan, states that “if we are to address any of these issues, it is important that we do two things. Number one, recognise the intersectional ways in which each of these challenges and their solutions operate, and number two, put the affected, vulnerable, and at risk communities at the centre of decision making.”

The Joint SDG Fund will support UN development systems collective actions for a just and green transition, especially by promoting innovations in climate and green financing, supporting the development of sustainable blue economies to protect marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and positioning the Fund as a potential vehicle to help countries address and respond to losses and damages through an integrated approach. 

We extend our thanks to Doha Debates for their support in bringing together the voices of young changemakers around the world to advocate for the Global Goals.


Join the movement using the hashtag #YouthSpeak at @JointSDGFund!


About United Nations Youth2030 vision

A world in which the human rights of every young person are realised; that ensures every young person is empowered to achieve their full potential; and that recognises young people’s agency, resilience and their positive contributions as agents of change. 


About United Nations Joint SDG Fund’s Youth Corner

The UN Joint SDG Fund’s Youth Corner is a youth platform where young people’s needs can be addressed, their voices amplified, and their engagement advanced as part of its Youth2030 mission.


About Doha Debates

Doha Debates engages a vanguard of intellectually curious truth-seekers to constructively debate differences in order to build a better future.


For further information about the incredible youth featured, you can connect with them via the links below:

Alperen Koçsoy (Student at Bilkent University): X/Twitter, LinkedIn

Maryam Kiyani (Writer, Researcher, and Social Development Practitioner): Website, X/Twitter, LinkedIn


(1) Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dec. 12, 2015, T.I.A.S. No. 16-1104.

(2) IPCC, 2022: Summary for Policymakers [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, A. Reisinger, R. Slade, R. Fradera, M. Pathak, A. Al Khourdajie, M. Belkacemi, R. van Diemen, A. Hasija, G. Lisboa, S. Luz, J. Malley, D. McCollum, S. Some, P. Vyas, (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, R. Slade, A. Al Khourdajie, R. van Diemen, D. McCollum, M. Pathak, S. Some, P. Vyas, R. Fradera, M. Belkacemi, A. Hasija, G. Lisboa, S. Luz, J. Malley, (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA. doi: 10.1017/9781009157926.001.



The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.