Invitation to Future Policy Award Ceremony 2023: For a toxic-free world

Agroecology in the Himalayas: Call for Proposals

The Road to COP28

July Newsletter

Press Release: Eight top candidates contend for Future Policy Award

Future Policy Award Logo 2023

Press Release: World Experts for a toxic-free world with a focus on children form Jury of Future Policy Award 2023

Legal accountability for the impacts of climate change?

Legal accountability for the impacts of climate change? 

How Vanuatu and the younger generation are pushing climate justice into the forefront 

Lena Dente, Senior Programme Manager, Energy and Just Development 

Climate change is arguably one of the biggest challenges of our time, and its impacts are felt disproportionately by vulnerable communities around the world. Climate justice seeks to address this imbalance by ensuring that those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis are not unfairly burdened with the consequences.  

One country at the forefront of the climate justice movement is Vanuatu, a small island nation in the South Pacific. According to data from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Vanuatu’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 were only 0.002% of the world total. However, the country is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with rising sea levels, more frequent and severe tropical cyclones, and ocean acidification threatening its very existence. The 2020 Climate Risk Index by Germanwatch ranked Vanuatu as the fourth-most affected country by climate change over the past two decades, with an estimated 2,341 deaths and economic losses of $477 million.

Taking Action 

In 2018, Vanuatu launched the Vanuatu ICJ Initiative, which called on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to provide an Advisory Opinion (ICJAO) on the responsibility of states to prevent climate change and the impacts on the rights of people beyond national jurisdiction. On 29th March 2023, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on this issue. 

The Initiative is spearheaded by Vanuatu on behalf of a coalition of over 120 nations including Pacific Island nations, which are also among the most vulnerable. This campaign led to the formation of the organization, World´s Youth for Climate Justice, which represents the voice of future generations in this important issue.   

The Vanuatu ICJ Initiative argues that climate change is a threat to the fundamental human rights of people around the world, and that states have a legal obligation to take action to prevent it. The Initiative calls on the ICJ to clarify the legal obligations of states under international law, including the duty to prevent harm and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. 

In addition to the rights of people currently affected by climate change, the Initiative also highlights the importance of considering the rights of future generations – that they are not unfairly burdened by the consequences from the climate crisis and that they have a right to a safe and healthy environment. Climate change is an intergenerational issue, and is an important principle of climate justice, recognizing that present generations have a responsibility to ensure that the needs of future generations are not compromised.


Potential International Impact 

The Initiative represents a landmark moment in the climate justice movement, as it highlights the urgent need for action regarding the unequal impacts of climate change. It also is a testament to the leadership of young people and small island nations in the fight against climate change.   

If the ICJ issues an advisory opinion in support of the initiative, it could establish a legal precedent for holding states accountable for their actions on climate change. This could lead to stronger international cooperation and action on climate change, as well as greater recognition of the rights of vulnerable communities and future generations.   

Furthermore, this could lead to greater recognition of the principles of intergenerational equity and earth trusteeship in international law and that could have implications for a range of environmental issues beyond climate change.


World Future Council Engagement 

Alyn Ware, Councilor and Co-Chair, Peace and Disarmament Commission of the World Future Council serves as an advisor to young leaders and lawyers working on the ICJAO. Alyn has been engaged in several ICJAO campaigns over the years. One of the founding Councilors of the World Future Council, H.E. Judge C.G. Weeramantry, Former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice, wrote a celebrated dissenting opinion in a case related to nuclear weapons, which may serve as a precedence that will inform this new effort at an ICJAO on climate change. 

The World Future Council will continue its support for this Initiative building on its contributions in the areas of just development, the rights of future generations and highlighting future-just policies.  



The 13th IRENA General Assembly

The 13th IRENA General Assembly

The World Future Council´s Energy and Just Development Team took part in the 13th  IRENA Assembly in January 2023. The focus this year was “World Energy Transition – The Global Stocktake”. In contrast to the COP meetings where the energy transition is a part of the climate change discussion, the IRENA General Assembly is focused more directly on renewable energy and the energy transition.

The event brought together stakeholders from across the energy sector and across the globe to focus on elements of the transition such as gender inclusion, just development, energy access, and climate finance. Discussions ranged from the global policy level to more local solutions and challenges with global implications, such as were discussed within the context of Small Island Developing States.

The potential for gender inclusion and the framework and policies needed for a just transition in the energy sector were discussed in a plenary debate session. Upskilling, job development, and community development opportunities were just a few of the positive actions that will help move the energy transition toward being a just transition.

Obviously, ensuring that nobody is left behind in the energy transition is going to depend on climate finance. The IRENA discussions included important debates regarding the facilities, private and public funding, and investing vs lending as key topics. Importantly, the general consensus seemed to agree that the energy transition is coupled intrinsically to development, which is an important aspect ensuring a just transition for all.

Lastly, the World Future Council will continue to be part of the IRENA Coalition for Action. Lena Dente was elected to represent the WFC on the Steering Committee. This Coalition works in collaboration with other energy transition organizations from across the globe to advise IRENA and to help shape the public dialogue on renewable energy.

Picture of Rabia Ferroukhi, Director, Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre, IRENA

First stakeholders’ workshop on “Scaling up Agroecology in the Himalayas”

Major takeaways  

  • Challenges discussed included food insecurity and malnutrition, availability of arable land, low labour productivity, climate change, migration, labour scarcity and feminization of agriculture, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, unsustainable farming practices, land use changes and land degradation, soil health, urbanization, the loss of community knowledge, dependency on external inputs (especially fertilizers), low competitiveness of domestic production, food imports and the impact of the recent pandemic, oversimplified diets, poverty and food affordability, agroecological products not getting out of the niche, access to markets, poor value addition, post-harvest loss and food waste, lack of coordination and therefore lack of convergence, as well as the lack of mountain-specific policies, programmes and approaches.
  • Opportunities highlighted included agroecology as transition pathway, awareness raising with policymakers, the value of a dedicated legal framework and a national agroecology promotion policy, set up a national centre of excellence for agroecology, more engagement of donors and support for capacity-building, the region’s ecosystem services, strengthening research, teaching and extension, improve the water distribution and efficient water use, use malnutrition as outcome indicator for poverty alleviation schemes, nutrition sensitive agriculture and the integration of nutritious foods, strengthening of local economies through distributing and procuring local food baskets, investment and access to finance,  increase consumer awareness, support access to markets and organic markets, provide price incentives, farm mechanisation, addressing crop depredation, attain commercial scale production of bio-fertilisers and pesticides, forming producer groups and achieving economies of scale, agroforestry, subsidies for agricultural infrastructure and integration with non farm enterprises such as tourism.
  • Value was seen in experience sharing within the region and across borders on agroecology and the food systems approach, innovation through cooperation, making contacts, sensitizing policymakers, strengthening institutional mechanisms and empowering smallholders at grassroots level.
    • An integrated, holistic, mountain-specific approach was emphasized, along with the importance of increased coordination and collaboration. Involving more policymakers and developing a joint roadmap was deemed necessary but also seen as mammoth task, which would require a lot of dedicated coordination and support.
    • While there are some promising policies in place, their weak implementation prevents a resilient and agroecological agriculture to spread more effectively and more sustainable food systems to flourish. In order to effect significant change, stakeholders highlighted, amongst others, that policy development in general needs to become more inclusive and has to include mountain-sensitive approaches, the science-policy interface has to improve, and key players such as government officials, teachers farmers and consumers need to be made better aware of the importance of healthy, nutritious and diverse food. 
    • A national-level mechanism that encompasses all relevant stakeholders was considered necessary to strengthen the coordination and convergence between different governance levels, food system relevant departments as well as all food system stakeholders, to advance collaborative efforts towards sustainable food systems and to address contradictory policy outcomes. 


    Why was this event held? What was the aim? 

    Over the last 10 years, Bhutanese, Indian and Nepalese policymakers have increasingly recognized the need for transition towards sustainable agricultural systems to preserve their natural resources and improve livelihoods for their rural populations. Political commitment has been implemented with varying degrees of intensity, including policies and programs with specific budget earmarks for measures supporting organic farming and agroecology. Recently also other parts of food systems, such as value chains and markets, have received more attention from policymakers. 

    To build on this momentum and to explore how to better scale up agroecological food systems, we organized this two-day interactive stakeholder workshop. The event brought together food system stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, who share a common understanding of the need for change. We created a platform, through which we can collaborate and find innovative solutions to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable food systems based on agroecology.  

    The workshop is part of the project “Scaling up Agroecology in the Himalayas”, which aims to draft a common roadmap and which builds on the digital event “Scaling up Agroecology in the Himalayas Together” held in April 2021 (More information at: as well as on the study “The Mainstreaming of Organic Agriculture And Agroecology in the Himalaya Region” (Available at: 


    Will there be more such events to come in the future? 

    This workshop is just the first in a series of stakeholder events that will conclude by the end of 2023 with a common roadmap. By scaling up agroecology in the Himalayas, we can create a blueprint for sustainable food systems that can be replicated in other regions around the world. Moreover, this is a crucial step towards ensuring our common future on this planet, acting upon the fact that the health of our ecosystems and the well-being of all living beings are intimately interconnected.

Press Release: One year on: Statement for the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine