2.3 Advancing Climate Change Education and Youth Empowerment: Preparing Our Communities with the Skills, Knowledge, and Passion to Push for and Develop Innovative Solutions

Monday, 23 January 2017: 2:00 PM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Max T. Edkins, Connect4Climate, Washington, DC; and F. Niepold, J. Bozuwa, J. Kretser, K. Poppleton, T. Ledley, and W. Staveloz

Today’s youth are the first generation to come of age amid rapid climate change, and they have the most at stake in how society responds to it. Climate change will bring economic and environmental challenges as well as opportunities, and citizens who understand the issues at stake will be better prepared to respond. Climate education is a necessary foundation for them to understand and help tackle the complex issue of climate change.  Many will become leaders with the skills, knowledge, and passion to push for and develop innovative solutions.

As such, this topic requires interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches from a professionally diverse group of experts to effectively build the solid foundation for a low carbon and sustainable economy. Educators from all disciplines need to be enlisted to contribute their talents in building students knowledge and skills to limit human-induced climate change while being prepared for the projected impacts that will continue, and it will accelerate significantly if global emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase.

This presentation will discuss the new youth and educator engagement partnerships that developed to achieve ways of addressing the problems and opportunities resulting from climate change. We will describe how the partnerships are helping lift up and raise the profile of effective programs that enable transdisciplinary solutions to societal issues. The #Youth4Climate and #Teach4Climate social media campaigns were organized by a flotilla of federal and non-federal partners to inspire young people around the world to take actions on climate change and inspire teachers to prepare students to be part of the solutions to climate change. The largest one, the #Youth4Climate campaign for COP21 youth engagement had over 33 million impressions and opened a discussion for all to join with youth for climate actions at COP21.

Each of these three social media campaigns had a simple ask, give young people a voice and prepare them to succeed to do something about climate change. We are excited to have new partners join forces and support young people, giving them a voice and an opportunity to lead in Paris and beyond. We know the solutions are here, and are committed to working together to build a resilient and climate-friendly world. Join us with #Youth4Climate and #Teach4Climate.

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