It’s been said that today’s youth are the first generation to feel the impacts of climate change and the last that can do something about it. Climate Interactive is working with partners to empower young people around the world to engage in the UNFCCC climate talks in Paris from November 30 – December 11, 2015, through the #Youth4Climate campaign.
Climate Interactive’s World Climate Project is a great way to engage people through a simulation of the UN climate talks. The World Climate Exercise has been played by thousands of people, young and old alike, in dozens of countries already.
Why does climate change education matter?
As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says in Article 6, “The solutions to climate change are also the paths to a safer, healthier, cleaner and more prosperous future for all. To see this and to understand what needs to be done requires a sharp and sustained focus on education, training and public awareness in all countries and at all levels of government, society and enterprise.”
Key reasons why climate change education matters:
- Long-term, independent records from weather stations, satellites, ocean buoys, tide gauges, and many other data sources all confirm that our nation, like the rest of the world, is warming. Scientists who study climate change confirm that these observations are consistent with significant changes in Earth’s climatic trends. (U.S. National Climate Assessment, 2014)
- Over the 21st century, climate scientists expect Earth’s temperature to continue increasing, very likely more than it did during the 20th century. Two anticipated results are rising global sea level and increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves, droughts, and floods. These changes will affect almost every aspect of human society, including economic prosperity, human and environmental health, and national security. (USGCRP Climate Literacy, 2009)
- Climate change will bring economic and environmental challenges as well as opportunities, and citizens who have an understanding of climate science will be better prepared to respond to both. (USGCRP Climate Literacy, 2009)
- Society needs citizens who understand the climate system and know how to apply that knowledge in their careers and in their engagement as active members of their communities.(USGCRP Climate Literacy, 2009)
- Climate change will continue to be a significant element of public discourse. Understanding the essential principles of climate science will enable all people to assess news stories and contribute to their everyday conversations as informed citizens. (USGCRP Climate Literacy, 2009)
The #Youth4Climate social media campaign is an effort led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Energy, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the CLEAN Network, The Wild Center, the World Bank Group’s global partnership program Connect4Climate, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, Alliance for Climate Education, Earth Day Network, Climate Interactive, and others. It is an open discussion for all to join the youth call for climate action.
Numbering approximately one billion today, young people are one of the largest demographics in the world. And they are our future leaders. It is critical that this population has a solid foundation in climate literacy. In order to tackle the complex issue of climate change, we need leaders with the skills, knowledge, and passion to advocate and innovate solutions.
With what they already know, the leaders of this generation are already demanding ambitious action on climate change. They are leading a strong, vocal climate movement. The #Youth4Climate coalition is supporting them on the road to and through Paris.
We are excited to join forces and support them by providing an opportunity to voice their concerns, to express their hopes for the future, and to lead in Paris and beyond. We know there are solutions. And we are committed to working together to build a resilient climate-friendly world. Join us at #Youth4Climate.
For the next month there are events happening all over that engage youth. Here are a couple that we are participating in:
November 26-28: This year’s Conference of Youth (http://coy11.org/en/), organized by young volunteers, will take place in Villepinte, France. The conference targets youth, aged 18 to 30, to spread sustainability best practices, with a specific climate change focus. Climate Interactive in partnership with CliMates, and Albedo Climat will run 6 simulations of the climate talks throughout the Conference of Youth.
December 4: World Climate Project: Interactive Simulation of UN Climate Negotiations. In the Climate Generations Area from 11:30-13:00, Climate Interactive will offer a chance to explore potential pathways to address climate change through an interactive demonstration of the World Climate game and computer simulations C-ROADS and En-ROADS. Put yourself in the shoes of the climate negotiators to see what it will take. Analysis of the INDC pledges will be offered alongside a framework for understanding how climate solutions can and must address other challenges simultaneously.