A new report surveying over 1,000 young social entrepreneurs across 25 markets in Asia Pacific highlighted climate change as a global emergency, placing the spotlight on how this group is taking bold steps to address climate challenges.
The report sought to understand the role that young social entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region can play in tackling the climate emergency and the support they need to amplify the impact of climate actions and solutions.
It also highlighted that greater engagement with national partners, access to financial resources, climate change-related capacity-building initiatives, establishing multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms, and generating evidence-based research could better support young social entrepreneurs to accelerate climate action.
The report titled ‘Climate Concern to Climate Action: The Role of Young Social Entrepreneurs’ was commissioned by Youth Co:Lab, an initiative co-led by Citi Foundation and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and targeted young social entrepreneurs between the ages 16 and 35.
The topography of the Asia Pacific region makes it more vulnerable to climate change risks than any other region in the world, posing a threat to the sustainable futures of more than 660 million youth in the region, who account for over 60% of the global youth population.
A majority (84%) of the young social entrepreneurs surveyed as part of the study believed that climate change was a global emergency, with 74% expecting climate change impact to negatively affect their organisations.
The report revealed that 85% of young social entrepreneurs faced challenges in advancing climate action. Among this group, access to adequate financial resources emerged as the biggest obstacle to advancing climate action, with 68 % of respondents identifying it as a challenge.
A lack of connection to relevant partners and absence of education and training were listed as the second and third biggest obstacles according to 55 % and 46 % of respondents, respectively.
Those surveyed were increasingly involved with developing climate solutions and working with organisations that were taking action to minimize the negative environmental impact of their operations.
However, despite the challenges, young social entrepreneurs remain resilient and engaged in climate action.
Of these young respondents, 66% actively engage in delivering climate-action-focused products and services, while 80% want to further climate action through their organizations by developing stronger research, designing climate-smart solutions, leading advocacy on climate action, and scaling up existing climate initiatives.