The C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum

The C40 Global Youth & Mayors Forum is a first-of-its-kind platform that brings together 14 youth climate leaders and 6 mayors to work together over the next year to shape how the vision of a Global Green New Deal can be made a reality in cities across the world. 

Around the world, young people are demanding action on the climate crisis to secure a just, sustainable future. As the youngest generation, their lives are most at stake. Young people have put the climate emergency on the global political agenda, demanding that global leaders respond and take action in an equitable and just way. Mayors from the world’s leading cities have heard this call and agree: we must push forward with courage and ambition to change the status quo that has generated this crisis. C40 mayors and young leaders from the climate movement will work together to shape a vision of a Global Green New Deal that can be made a reality in cities across the world. 

The Global Youth and Mayors forum will discuss:

• How we can implement a Global Green New Deal;
• How cities can better engage and work with youth leaders on climate to push forward ambition;
• and how youth movements and mayors can work together to push forward science-based climate action and overcome opposition.

The Global Youth and Mayors forum is part of C40’s Global Youth Initiative, announced by Mayor of Los Angeles and Chair of C40, Eric Garcetti, at the 2019 C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.

Meet the members of the 2020-21 Global Youth & Mayors Forum 

(From left to right – Row 1: Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Saoirse Exton, Asheer Kandhari, Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris. Row 2: Maureen Damen, Mayor Claudia López, Dilan Gohill, Marie Chureau. Row 3: Ghislain Irakoze, Jade Lozada, Djivenson Macius, Mayor Phil Goff of Auckland. Row 4: Khadijah Rana, Mayor Daniel Quintero of Medellín, Dohyeon Kim, Rain Bello. Row 5: Juliet Oluoch, Ayantika Dutta, Pamela Escobar Vargas, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown.)

Asheer Kandhari | New Delhi, India
Asheer Kandhari is a 17-year-old climate activist from New Delhi, India which – the most polluted capital city in the world. She is a Member of Fridays For Future International, a core-member and organiser for Fridays For Future India and the organizer and coordinator for the Youth in the DelhiTreeSOS Movement. Asheer comes from a country where over 2.5 million people have died due to air pollution in the last year alone, 30 million people have been displaced or deprived of their livelihoods due to deforestation ,and where 1.08 billion people have been affected by more than 300 natural disasters in the last two decades. The climate crisis is not a crisis of the future ,but rather the reality of today. With this opportunity to be a part of the Global Youth Mayors Forum, Asheer hopes to further her activism and help develop real, feasible solutions to the climate crisis.

Ayantika Dutta | Kolkata, India
Ayantika is a "Sustainability Evangelist". Having realised her passion for sustainability, she decided to pursue it as a career, focusing on a purpose-driven life. During her undergraduate studies, she started interning with organisations such as Climate Collective, Sustain and Save in India.  Currently a 1st year student, she is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Sustainable Development. Having experience as a Climate Reality Leader, she was given an opportunity with a not-for-profit organization Mobility Alliance and Social Sustainability (MASS) Foundation to showcase her skills in communications and strategy. She is also involved with India's first waste commerce company, Recykal, in the capacity of a consultant.

Dilan Gohill | Los Angeles, United States
Dilan Gohill is a fifteen-year-old climate justice organizer from Los Angeles, California in the United States. He serves as the co-national coordinator of Extinction Rebellion (XR) Youth United States, facilitating the growth and empowerment of over 50 local groups across the country. As the co-coordinator of Extinction Rebellion Youth L.A., Dilan has planned many actions and campaigns targeting the unsustainable industries and corporations headquartered in the city through non-violent direct action. These include: Hollywood/the film industry, the music industry, and the LA Department of Water and Power. Dilan is also a local organizer in Los Angeles and serves on a Youth Advisory Council for his Representative in the United States House of Representatives. In this capacity, he discusses and shares his perspective on climate change, racial justice, and current issues affecting the United States. As a member of the Global Youth and Mayors Forum, Dilan hopes to promote intergenerational dialogue and serve as a direct link between the young people in his city and country and youth leaders and mayors from around the world.

Djivenson Macius | Port-au-prince, Haïti
Djivenson Macius is a 24-year-old climate activist in Haiti. He is originally from the city of Gonaïves, but currently lives in Port-au-Prince (the capital of the country) because of his studies at the State University of Haiti. Worried about the environmental and climate issues facing his country, Djivenson Macius has always strived to be part of the fight against climate change. Last year, in collaboration with other young people from his university, he started a student-led organization called "Sustainability Week Port-au-Prince" which  aims to bring sustainability to universities in Haiti through a set of  awareness-raising activities on the Sustainable Development Goals. He is also part of a youth association called "Unite4climate Action" which is a group formed by young from Latin American, the Caribbean and Europe. that aims to create bridges between continents so that the voices of the most vulnerable people can be heard in the fight against climate change. He is motivated to participate in the Global  Youth and Mayors Forum and sees this as an opportunity to make his voice heard and to work with important stakeholders to achieve concrete actions for the future of the planet.  Djivenson Macius is committed to climate issues, and is open to collaborating with any party (individual or organization) defending the same cause and supporting the development of his community.

Dohyeon Kim | Suwon, South Korea
Dohyeon Kim is a 17-year-old climate activist based in Suwon, South Korea. Her interest in human rights issues helped her view climate change through an intersectional lens and motivated her to throw herself into climate activism. Since 2019, Dohyeon has been working with Youth 4 Climate Action Korea, an organization that aims to encourage the Korean government to achieve a just climate transition in line with the Paris Agreement. In 2020, Dohyeon filed a constitutional lawsuit against the Korean government for failing to take adequate climate action and protect her generation’s right to a liveable planet. Although the youth climate movement has earned much attention worldwide, Dohyeon thinks young people are still too often excluded from important decision-making processes that will greatly impact their lives. This motivated her to join the C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum, where she is able to collaborate with mayors around the world and help shape climate policies.

Ghislain Irakoze | Kigali, Rwanda
Ghislain Irakoze is a sustainability entrepreneur and activist based in Kigali, Rwanda. With a vision for a climate-resilient and waste-free world, he founded Wastezon, a cleantech company that leverages cutting-edge technology to provide e-waste traceability, sorting, and collection services. So far, over 400 tons of e-waste have been processed on the Wastezon app. Prior to founding Wastezon, Ghislain started a campaign called “Recycle for Environment”, which involved over 200 students in creative solutions for waste recycling in partnership with Samsung Engineering. As a sustainability consultant, Ghislain worked with the EU Commission DG Environment on Africa-EU Circular Economy Cooperation and assisted the African Development Bank in developing a green growth investment program in Africa with a focus on  Rwandan waste Management and the circular economy sector. Ghislain is also a former youth think tank researcher at the Mastercard Foundation. He has received awards and recognitions such as UNEP Young Champion of the Earth-Finalist, Qitcom Startup Hub Award, One Young World-Audi Scholar, CoC Youth Conservation Innovation Poster Prize, and was featured in CNBC and National Geographic.  He is currently completing a BA in International Business and Trade at the African Leadership University.

Jade Lozada | New York, United States
Jade Lozada is a writer and climate organizer in New York City. She was a local youth organizer of the September 20th Global Climate Strike, which brought together a record-breaking 300,000 people for the planet. As Policy Director at TREEage, Jade is now working to empower local youth, especially those from low-income communities of color, in climate policy- and decision-making. In addition to developing climate policy platforms for local progressive candidates, Jade is helping build an intersectional youth coalition to register 15,000 young people — the demographic with the lowest voter turnout — to vote in the upcoming New York City elections. As a youth member of the C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum, Jade cannot wait to learn about bold climate solutions that can be implemented in New York City, as well as collaborate with the other members on best practices to uplift youth in local decision-making.

Juliet Oluoch | Nairobi, Kenya
Juliet Oluoch is an ambitious  young  environmental conservationist and climate  activist from Nairobi, Kenya with a concrete vision to ensure that all people in her country learn to co-exist in a mutual kind of relationship with nature. Juliet serves as the communications coordinator for Kenya's chapter of the African Youths Initiative on Climate Change. She is also a member of Kenya's Green Building Society, Commonwealth Youth Climate Network and many
other organizations. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation and Natural Resources Management at The University of Nairobi. Juliet is motivated by a strong desire to protect the natural world which has become fragile in the face of modern humanity which threatens our very own existence. She is passionate about the realization of the UN's Sustainable Development  Goal #13.

Khadijah Rana | Islamabad, Pakistan

Khadijah is a social activist from Islamabad, Pakistan with special interest in urbanization, climate and environmental protection, social entrepreneurship, young people, gender and governance issues. As Co-founder of Eco-Dost, she ran a digital advocacy campaign for environmental protection. Her project on environmentally friendly fertilizer won runner-up at a global Blue economy entrepreneurship program. While working as Minister for Disaster Management & Welfare at the Youth General Assembly of Pakistan, Khadijah produced a policy brief for the federal government. She holds memberships of YOUNGO (Youth Constituency of UNFCCC), Amnesty International, Youth General Assembly, Rotaract Club, and Youth, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Workshop at Rutgers University in the United States. Presently, she is working to earn a Bachelor of Social Sciences with majors in developmental studies at Bahria University in Islamabad. Khadijah is a strong supporter of youth activism and participation in community building and public services. Her passion is to help improve civic life in Pakistan through her participation in the Global Youth and Mayors Forum.

Marie Chureau | Paris, France
Marie is a climate activist living in Paris, France. She works with Youth for Climate France, which is the French branch of Fridays for Future. She got involved in the climate movement because she believes that we are going through the greatest crisis humanity has ever seen. With this motivation, Marie fights every day for ecological and social justice, because the two struggles are inseparable. In Marie's words: “I aspire to a viable and deeply just world for all.” Marie is very happy to be part of the C40 Youth and Mayors Forum, because she sees it as a  place for meetings and genuine discussion about the climate crisis with people from all corners of the world working for a better world with different methods – she looks forward to hearing everyone's ideas. She believes that we can make a difference at the city level, even when nations and states do not take adequate action at the global level. Marie believes that if we work together, we can make the change we need.

[En français:  Marie est une activiste pour le climat qui vit à Paris en France. Elle travaille avec Youth for Climate France qui est la branche française de Fridays for Future. Elle s'est engagée dans le mouvement pour le climat car elle pense que nous traversons la plus grande crise que l'humanité ait jamais connue. Forte de cette motivation, Marie se bat chaque jour pour la justice écologique et sociale car ces deux combats sont indissociables. Selon ses mots : "J'aspire à un monde durable et profondément juste pour tous. Marie est très heureuse de faire partie du Forum de la jeunesse et des maires du C40 car c’est un lieu de vraies rencontres et de discussions sur la crise climatique avec des activistes du monde entier qui œuvrent pour un monde meilleur chacun à sa manière - elle a d’ailleurs hâte d'entendre les idées de chacun. Elle est convaincue que nous pouvons faire la différence au niveau des villes même si les nations et les États ne prennent pas les mesures qui s’imposent au niveau international. Marie est convaincue qu’en travaillant tout ensemble, les changements nécessaires pourront voir le jour.]

Maureen Damen | Dakar, Sénégal
Maureen Damen is a 16-year-old climate activist and defender of human rights based in Dakar, Senegal. She is the co-founder of Fridays For Future Senegal alongside another Senegalese activist named Yero Sarr. Maureen is also the founder of Rise Senegal, part of Polluters Out, and a member of the Fridays for Future Digital team. She participates in daily strikes to save the Congo Rainforest and weekly strikes for Fridays For Future. I’m over the moon from being a part of C40 because it is an organization that highlights the real challenges of climate change and proposes sustainable and sustainable solutions with, for example, the use of renewable energies. This organization also promotes global climate justice with the promotion of young activists and the collaboration of mayors from around the world. I am very excited to take part in the decision that will be proposed in the future. It is very important for me to count most affected areas and people to climate change when making environmental choices.

Pamela Escobar Vargas | Mexico City, Mexico
Pamela Escobar Vargas is a 21-year-old environmental activist, lecturer and researcher from Mexico City studying International Relations. Since 2016, she has carried out different environmental awareness activities in different forums in her country. In 2017, Pamela became a founding member of the Executive Commission of Youth Against Climate Change, where she currently serves as the Technical Secretary and works on the development of youth-driven climate projects. In 2019, Pamela co-founded Fridays For Future México, and became a national spokesperson and member of the Local Leaders Commission. In the same year, Pamela was a Youth Delegate at the C40 World Mayors Summit, held in Copenhagen, Denmark. As a member of the C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum, Pamela wants to be able to contribute to the just and radical transition that we need for a green, equitable future. She believes that we cannot continue with the capitalist logic that has caused environmental collapse and this global crisis. In her words: "It's life or capital, and I want to fight for the first, now, and always."

[En español: Pamela Escobar Vargas es una activista medioambiental con 21 años, conferencista e investigadora de Ciudad de México que estudia Relaciones Internacionales. Desde 2016, ha realizado diferentes actividades de concienciación medioambiental en distintos foros de su país. En 2017, Pamela se convirtió en miembro fundador de la Comisión Ejecutiva de Jóvenes contra el Cambio Climático, en la que actualmente ejerce de Secretaria Técnica y trabaja en el desarrollo de proyectos climáticos impulsados por los jóvenes. En 2019, Pamela cofundó Fridays For Future México, y se convirtió en portavoz nacional y miembro de la Comisión de Líderes Locales. Ese mismo año, Pamela fue delegada de la juventud en la Cumbre Mundial de Alcaldes del C40, celebrada en Copenhague (Dinamarca). Como miembro del Foro Global de Jóvenes y Alcaldes del C40, Pamela quiere poder contribuir a la transición justa y radical que necesitamos para un futuro verde y equitativo. Cree que no podemos seguir con la lógica capitalista que ha provocado el colapso medioambiental y la crisis global. En sus propias palabras: "?Es la vida o el capital, y quiero luchar por lo primero, ahora y siempre."]

Rain Bello | Quezon City, Philippines
Rain Bello is from Quezon City, Philippines and studies in an undergraduate physical therapy program at the University of the Philippines in Manila. He is a Climate Reality Leader and is a member of the administrative committee of Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines (YS4C PH), a nationwide youth-led organization and campaign fueled by the goal to empower young Filipino people to act against the climate crisis. In the climate movement, he works to educate Filipino youth about the many aspects of the climate crisis and empowers them to take action. As part of YS4C PH, Rain helped draft various statements and several youth demands raised to elected officials and government institutions. Rain believes that the climate crisis is also a health crisis that gravely compounds on social injustices.

Saoirse Exton | Limerick, Ireland
Saoirse is a climate activist from Limerick City in Ireland. In February 2019, she founded a local group of fellow climate activists. She organised three major local strikes, spoke to politicians, and was motivated by the powerful force of allies and fellow activists who stood beside her. In August 2019, she attended a meeting of global Fridays for Future activists in Switzerland to discuss climate-related issues, protest, have fun and make decisions about ongoing goals for Fridays For Future Europe. That week-long adventure taught her about the power of global solidarity and standing with each other to change the world. Saoirse is also the Equality Officer of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), working to include intersectionality within the union, and throughout Ireland. She was also selected to be a COY16 Country Coordinator for an international event preceding COP26 in Glasgow, and is a fellow at Civics Unplugged, an United States-based organisation focused on changing the democratic system and by extension the world. Saoirse believes that unity is the key to overcoming any crisis that affects our planet. She believes that we can come together to create a world that’s better for everyone by recognising our differences and our similarities.