New Environment and Climate Change Youth Council to engage on key environmental challenges

News release

July 21, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Young Canadians are concerned about their futures, which is why they are leading the charge to create a healthier planet, with cleaner air, cleaner water, and good jobs for now and for generations to come.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, established Canada’s first Environment and Climate Change Youth Council and launched applications for young people to apply.

The Youth Council will create meaningful opportunities for dialogue between young Canadians and the federal government on the key challenges of our time: fighting climate change, stemming rapid biodiversity loss, and better protecting our natural environment. In particular, inaugural members will engage on Canada’s top priorities, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and zero plastic waste by 2030. Members of the Youth Council will share ideas, voice concerns, and help shape Canada’s environmental policy, while gaining invaluable skills and experience to start or advance their careers.

The Youth Council will consist of ten Canadians between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Interested Canadians are encouraged to apply before August 18, 2021, at 11:59 pm PDT, through the link below.


“When it comes to the key challenges of our time—climate change, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution—young people are calling on their governments to rise to the challenge. The new Environment and Climate Change Youth Council will provide a great opportunity for young Canadians to have a voice in developing key environmental policies and plans that will shape their futures. I encourage all interested youth to apply and I look forward to engaging with the Youth Council.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • Youth Council members will serve a two-year term on a voluntary basis and meet every four months. Members can expect to spend about five hours per month on Council-related activities.

  • The Youth Council’s membership will aim to reflect the Canadian population with respect to regional representation; gender identity; linguistic, ethnic, and cultural diversity; and life experiences.

  • All applicants must identify an organization related to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) mandate and/or to youth engagement that is willing to support their application by nominating them. An organization is defined as:

    • A not-for-profit, such as a charitable or volunteer organization, professional association, or non-governmental organization;
    • An Indigenous organization, government, board, commission, community, association, or authority;
    • A local organization, such as a community association or group, youth group, or service club.
  • In 2019, the Government of Canada announced its first ever Youth Policy—created for youth, by youth—to help young adults better guide government priorities and actions. This policy aims to create awareness of diverse youth concerns and ensures more youth have the chance to take part in federal decision-making. It also respects Canada’s different cultures, traditions, and values, as well as its diverse Indigenous youth voices.

  • Today, Minister Wilkinson also announced the creation of 1,297 youth jobs in the environmental and clean technology sectors through the Science Horizons Youth Internship Program.

Associated links


Moira Kelly
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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