The Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN) was nothing more than an idea in January 2008. Since its official launch as a platform for youth and young professionals in March 2008 it has grown by leaps and bounds and now known to millions throughout the world. It was founded as a coalition of young people & youth-oriented organizations to take action on climate change. IYCN considers its biggest achievement to be the personal transformation of each individual who participates in the network’s activities as well as its contribution in bringing the climate debate to the mainstream.
The idea to start something new, something bold came about on noticing the lack of representation of Indian youth in the UNFCCC COP international climate negotiations in Bali, 2007. A country as large as India with one of the highest youth populations in the world was missing from the world forum of one of the most pressing issues of 21st century.
It has been a wonderful journey to attempt to build a unifying youth movement on a topic that is often considered controversial and which has not yet entered the psyche of the ordinary person in India—though we are all living its consequences daily. A simple vision, “an idea whose time had come,” we did not intend for it to make as much noise as it has but we believe that it offers a ray of hope in a climate of change. By tapping the passion of youth energy and their desire to make change and have their voices heard by policy makers we’ve managed to connect everyday students and young people directly to the Prime Minister’s Office. It has not been easy: it has meant doing the unimaginable, the daring, and thinking about out of the box solutions to build a movement that is based on solutions.
Starting with a youth summit on climate change & people’s survey of Delhi’s BRT Corridor with CSE, IYCN sent its first ever youth delegation of 8 members to CO14 in Poznan, Poland. Since then, more than 35 members of IYCN have participated and contributed in key policy deliberations at COPs