Albania is one of the most affected countries in Europe by climate change, due to the severity of impacts, and low humanand infrastructural capacities to adapt to these impacts. Albania has started to suffer and will severely suffer in the future years from decreased rainfall and water sources, heatwaves, prolonged droughts, floods, increased forest fires, crop and agricultural failures, decrease of biodiversity, increase of health issues, and sea level rise which will flood most of thecoastal cities. Climate change is and will further affect negatively the economic development of the country, as Albania relies on hydropower for electricity generation. Climate change and environmental degradation are of low priority for the Albanian Government, and unfortunately the same can be said also about the public and citizens Albania, with the exception of some parts of civil society and youth.
Although the Albanian society will suffer as a whole, the most endangered groups are vulnerable groups and Albanian youth in general, as they will bear the brunt of climate crisis impacts on Albania. Albanian youth are still not aware ofclimate crisis impacts in Albania, and the first roundtables/seminars that IEP held with Albanian youth during the last months, showed to us that the majority of them are eager to react against climate crisis, but they are not aware of climate crisis actual and future impacts, and that there is a lot of misinformation being propagandized to Albanian youth. Albanian youth have asked for more information on the topic, and the spreading of the awareness raising beyond Tirana, to other parts of Albania. As climate and environment are (and have been) the lowest priority of the Albanian government, Albanian youth are in danger of finding themselves in grave situation in a matter of 10-20 years, due to mitigation and adaptation measures not taken in time by the Albanian government. There is little information in climate crisis in the Albanian media, public discourse and in the educational system, and little understanding of the unfolding climate crisis, sometimes even among civil society, with grave ignorance about the issue among common Albanians and also among policy and decision-makers. The Albanian Government does not inform its citizens on climate change/crisis, nor does the media. Even among the donor community, climate has not a favorite topic, rejecting our applications for awarenessraising on climate change. Therefore, IEP has relied on small scale activities carried out with its own resources. There could be no public support for climate measures in Albania if information on the topic is so low among the general public.
In general, Albanian youth are largely unaware of what climate crisis will mean for their lives, and therefore, there is no critical mass to push the decision-makers to act against climate crisis. Now is the right time to make youth aware of the climate crisis, and through that, create a critical mass that can push for green policies to be in place. This critical mass, not only can push the Albanian government(s) to act on climate crisis, but can also be a nucleus for a greener society inAlbania.