Key-takes from COP26: how can youth contribute to tackling global challenges?


COP26 presented an opportunity for the global community, state, and civil society alike - to discuss and shape our future following the alarm reports that rained over us in 2021. Now, more than ever is time to act. Taking part in our sustainable path forward, ReGeneration 2030 followed, commented, and joined the negotiations and discussions in Glasgow and Helsinki at the Nordic COP26 hub to advocate for an ambitious, but urgent vision - to make the Nordic and Baltic countries the most sustainable region in 2030.


I’m happy that ReGeneration 2030 was acknowledged as an important actor invited to join the discussions in the COP26 Nordic Hub in Helsinki and that we got to voice how our current system does not have a future. But most importantly, together with other youth delegates, we got to showcase the important contribution of young people in tackling global challenges. Ella Turta, Secretary General.

ReGeneration 2030 had a dedicated team on the ground, including Simon Holmström (Co-Founder), Ella Turta (Secretary General), Violetta Massala (Chairperson) and Isaac (Vice-Chairperson). The session provided our delegates with several opportunities to discuss a wide range of topics, address issues, but also to advocate for solutions and demands. By taking part in discussions and also moderating and hosting our own events - ReGeneration 2030 provided a platform for networking and visionary minds to come together.


One main take-away from COP26 was the apparent strength and importance of actors from civil society in the future of sustainable development. I met so many inspiring people, from farmers working to improve biodiversity whilst reducing their carbon emissions to entrepreneurs creating products that aid climate adaptation in the global south. - Isaac Parkes, Vice-Chairperson.

COP26 has been highlighted as the most important meeting of this decade and this perception is by no means exaggerated. The turnout of COP26 was a step forward but failed to tackle the elephant in the room - that our current economic system based on overconsumption and exploitation of natural resources is one of the root causes of the challenges we are facing today and that we need a system change to take us out of this mess.


Following the first week of negotiations, a Glasgow panel discussed the results so far and the importance of youth inclusion. The panel included Sara Nyberg (PUSH Sweden), Ash Farber (Uppsala University), Melanie Rideout (Young European Leadership) with Simon Holmström (Nordic Council) as moderator. The second panel from Glasgow concerned youth expectations on the negotiations. The brilliant panelists were Emma Turkki (National Youth Delegate, Denmark), Jonas Kittelsen (Extinction Rebellion, Norway), Maija Kuivalainen (Youth Climate Delegate, Finland), Elin Adolfsson (PUSH, Sweden) with moderation by Nadja Najjar (PUSH Sweden).



Our delegates took part in several other panel discussions hosted at the Nordic Hub in Helsinki.



Last day of COP26, ReGeneration 2030 hosted its own panel discussion Youth advancing a lighter and better living - what is the role of the Nordic Countries in the shift towards sustainable consumption and production”.



Proudly advocating to make sustainable consumption and production the new norm in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region, Isaac had an active role in discussing the agency of citizens as consumers during the Fridays session. Acknowledging the role of consumption as the main driver of economic growth and, at the same time, the main cause of the global challenges we face today - there is a need to work across silos and address how and what we consume. But how do we get there?


One interesting point that we discussed was simply the need for more dialogues about consumption habits. How young people just talking to their parents or their grandparents about small changes they can make to live more sustainably could have a really big impact. - Isaac Parkes

This is what our chair-person Violetta has to say about this:

The key area of a change is citizen involvement: sustainability-related events should gather around all kind of people there, especially those who do not care about it. And I think this is the first step to do for the youth, to involve there uninterested in the topic peers, into the discussion and action. - Violetta Massala

Stay tuned, the upcoming weeks will be busy for the ReGeneration2030 team!