Guest blogger: Maddy Baer
Recently I learned about the International Climate Champions initiative of the British Council. The International Climate Champions initiative is part of a range of activities within the British Council designed to build understanding of and drive action on climate change.
In 2008 the program launched in 13 countries (Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) and then grew to encompass more than 800 International Climate Champions in 29 countries.
In 2009 the program expanded to 60 countries across the globe, recruiting over 1,300 young people who are passionate about and committed to taking action on climate change. These champions are not only leaders in their communities but are also participating in international peer networks, both in person and online, to share ideas, projects and experiences. Participants range in age from 11-35.
I spoke with participants from Indonesia and China who were returning from the conference in Cancun. During their visit, they met with fellow participants from 28 countries as well as spending time with the government delegations from their respective countries. Young men in their late 20’s, one was pursuing graduate work in mathematics, the other a Fulbright Scholar working on his PhD in agricultural economics. When they complete their U.S. studies, they will return to home and work to motivate young people to advocate for, and devise solutions to the challenges presented by global warming.
To learn more about the program and initiatives, opportunities to lead, innovate, and research go to: http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/climatechange/.