- What we do
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Kosovo is in a region of Europe that is most severely affected by the impacts of climate change. If the trend continues unbroken, the region will, in extreme cases, face a rise in temperature of more than five degrees by the end of the century. This would have devastating effects on the environment, people’s health and the economy.
Kosovo – as a young and relatively poor country – has a negative record on climate and environmental protection as well as with regard to CO2 emissions. The country relies on two high-emission coal-fired power stations for its energy production and also struggles with high levels of pollution and the over-exploitation of its natural resources.
Kosovo has the youngest population in Europe, 53 per cent are aged under 25. This makes young people’s influence and priorities particularly relevant for the country’s future. While a majority consider environmental problems such as the very high level of air pollution and waste management as problems, only a minority of young people see climate change as an important issue. There is a lack of public discourse and broad awareness concerning the serious consequences of climate change for the future.
Ten Kosovar municipalities achieve improved climate and environmental protection, motivated by the active involvement of young people.
This is achieved by educating and mobilising young people in 60 upper secondary schools about the themes of climate change and environmental protection. By setting up inclusive ‘eco-clubs‘ and using existing school councils to promote climate and environmental protection, the theme becomes more firmly embedded. The mobilised youth thus become actively involved in the development of local environmental action plans in their communities.
The implementation of appropriate climate and environmental action plans is designed to achieve sustainable reductions in carbon emissions in a wide range of sectors including energy, transport and industry.
Awareness-raising and the mobilisation of young people on climate change increase the pressure on local policy makers to seriously pursue the implementation of the plans. The training of teachers and the production of illustrative teaching material will embed the topic in the long term. Eco-clubs produce additional action plans for their schools and realise smaller projects that show what is possible. The young people are involved and mobilised as partners of municipal administrations for the production of local environmental action plans. The municipalities, the young people and civil-society organisations jointly organise campaigns to promote climate and environmental protection. The project also promotes links between the youth and national initiatives and conferences at which they can present their work.
With this project, Caritas Switzerland engages in the thematic focus of climate change. The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development demands ‘taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’ (Goal 13). This is to be achieved through improved education, awareness-raising and behavioural change in the field of climate change adaptation and impact reduction.
Today, there are 1.8 billion young people between the age of 10 and 24 in the world – the largest young generation in history. Young people are increasingly aware of the challenges and risks arising from the climate crisis, and the opportunities that sustainable development offers. Young people have shown, with Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future movement, that they are the global force for climate protection and for the future implementation of the sustainable development goals, and that they can be that in Kosovo, too.
01.01.2022 – 31.12.2024
1,538,679 Swiss francs
10 selected municipalities
Students and teachers from 60 upper secondary schools, school councils, eco-clubs and local youth groups, employees of the municipal administrations and national authorities.
People and their living conditions are at the centre of our climate projects. Our projects help the poorest people to cope with the consequences of climate change and the resulting weather extremes such as droughts and cyclones. We help smallholder families to achieve a high-yield harvest and develop new income sources despite the greatly changed conditions. Together with the population, we protect, preserve and rehabilitate natural resources such as lakes, forests and soils. In addition, we promote the sustainable and efficient use of energy, which enables families and entire communities to escape poverty.