By Guest Writer
Opinion: For Uganda to combat the drastic climate change that it is grappling with, they need to empower the youth in the various activities that aim at mitigating the impacts of climate change, including the participation of youth in the review of relevant policies that aim at addressing climate change impacts, like renewable energy policy in 2007, climate change policy in 2015, energy policy in 2023.
Otherds are green activities such as the use of renewable energy sources, especially solar, which is affordable, clean, and reliable, and other eco-friendly activities such as fish rearing, beekeeping, fruit and indigenous tree growing, among others.
Uganda needs to prioritize the empowerment of youth in order to combat drastic climate change. This is because the youth contribute to a large number of the population, over 70%, and it is the population that is still energetic.
The engagement of the youth in eco-friendly activities and their participation in the review of relevant policies will help the country mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, absorb greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and, at the same time, solve the high levels of unemployment the youth are facing, support the food security of the country, increase youth incomes, and reduce the 90% of the Ugandan population, which is still depending on wood fuel for cooking.
If the country fails to empower and engage the youth and women in eco-friendly activities, the country is likely to face the worst climate change impacts because the youth contribute to a larger population of the country and they are still energetic to do the activities.
This is the time for the country to engage the youth to ensure that they have achieved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), net zero emissions by 2030, the vision 2024, and just energy transition as well. The country will achieve these after fully engaging the youth and women in the activities that intend to combat climate change.
Therefore, I call on the government of Uganda to prioritize the youth and women in all activities that intend to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
The author is Kato Paul, a research associate and environmental activist.
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