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GreenPAC is excited to announce a unique opportunity for youth residing in Canada (aged 18-35) to have your say on the future of environmental leadership!

In Fall 2023, GreenPAC will be publicly releasing a collaborative youth vision statement on environmental leadership in Canadian politics and your input will play a vital role in shaping it. From August 14th to September 1st, 2023 (until 11:59pm EST), we're inviting youth to make your voices heard by submitting your comments to strengthen the statement.

We want to thank the participants of our Future Leaders in Politics (FLIP) letter-writing workshop in spring 2023, co-led with Youth Climate Lab, for their contributions to the current draft of this statement. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all of you who are dedicating your time to effect positive change for the environment in Canada.

The statement is split into three sections:

1. Foundational principles of environmental policymaking

2. Youth Inclusion in Leadership

3. Fundamentals of Environmental Leadership


If you would like to see the full statement with context (including intro & conclusion), it is linked here.

We invite you to review the sections below and share any feedback you may have through feedback form below.

Following the consultation period, we plan to reflect on any comments and release this collaborative statement in conjunction with the Global Climate Strike in September 2023.

Section 1: Foundational Principles for Environmental Policymaking

The following principles are frequently absent in policymaking, but are critical to guide and propel the decision-makers who chart our environmental future and inspire others to get involved.


  • Recognize and respect the importance and interconnectedness of a healthy environment to human safety, physical and mental health, food security, economic livelihoods, spirituality, recreation, and heritage

    • Reject the compartmentalization of “the environment” solely in terms of natural/extractable resources and services (independent of human health, security, and wellbeing), while respecting the inherent value of biodiversity and importance of healthy ecosystems

  • Value Indigenous knowledge and structurally incorporate this knowledge and its holders in decision-making

  • Acknowledge, and seek to redress, the global environmental harms disproportionately committed by wealthy nations, including Canada, and by certain segments of society, at the expense and exclusion of marginalized people within Canada. 

  • Seek to equitably distribute the benefits of environmental policies, programs, and investments to all Canadians, with special care for groups who have been systemically excluded from these benefits (e.g. access to public transportation, green space, green jobs, etc.)

    • Embrace broad principles of circular economics, environmental justice, food security, environmental education, and center them in the transition to sustainable jobs

  • Demonstrates a willingness to work across political divides and form cross-party consensuses for outcomes that will reflect the needs of different peoples within Canada

    • Address regional differences and the rural-urban spectrum and work towards solutions that fit the needs of different communities in Canada

Section 2: Youth Inclusion in Decision-Making

Current systems of decision-making in Canada fail to meaningfully make space for and incorporate our voices, even though we already are and will continue to be among those most affected by decisions of environmental policy. As such, we call on current decision-makers to:

  • Meaningfully work towards dismantling barriers to youth participation in politics

  • Ensure that information on issues relevant to youth is easily and freely accessible

  • Formalize, expand, and protect pathways for youth participation in decision-making

  • Ensure that these pathways are inclusive, accessible and equitable for youth from underrepresented and/or marginalized communities, including young women, young people with disabilities, racialized youth, LGTBQ2S+ youth, and newcomer youth

  • Work formally and informally to create welcoming and enabling environments for continuous youth participation in decision-making spaces 

  • Respect the time, ideas, and dignities of youth by rejecting tokenization and enabling youth to see the outcomes of their advice, action, and leadership

  • Enable youth engaged in environmental leadership to build institutional knowledge so they can engage effectively with these systems

Section 3: Fundamentals of Environmental Leadership

We welcome the diverse styles, types of, and intersectional approaches to leadership that exist, but also believe there are common attributes and attitudes of leaders necessary in bringing about our vision of leadership. 


  • Personally committing to honesty, transparency, accountability, and integrity

    • Ensuring a comprehensive transition of knowledge, resources, tools, and power to help incoming youth fully undertake their new responsibilities as leaders

  • Exhibiting a high level of empathy, respect, and emotional intelligence

    • Demonstrating a willingness and determination to engage in dialogue, fostering a collaborative and open-minded exchange of ideas and perspectives and upholding values of active listening, respect, and empathy 

    • Providing hope against climate grief and anxiety by acknowledging it and working with youth for positive change

  • A proactive approach to learning and leading (e.g. not waiting for youth to fix things)

    • Being humble and empowering youth who might have more technical and lived knowledge, despite their age, to make important decisions around our environment 

  • Approaching policymaking with a long-term view that resists political short-termism at the expense of important change

  • Taking a holistic approach that explicitly accounts for the interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental systems

    • Making sure that environmental policy objectives are adequately considered and incorporated in public policy processes and vice versa 

  • A commitment to equity and inclusion that moves beyond goals of “increasing representation” and towards “creating belonging”

    • Committing to co-design, co-creation, and sharing power at all stages of the policy process to facilitate  community-led solutions that involve the equitable and inclusive participation of marginalized youth populations

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