Partners raise youth voices through the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative
In the December 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about the challenges and opportunities of climate change. A series of federal and non-federal commitments were announced and numerous roundtable discussions held to discuss how best increase the nation’s climate and energy literacy. As the partners considered the value of reaching youth directly, NOAA and the others realized that through collaboration they could have a greater collective impact.
The NOAA Climate Program Office’s Communication and Education Program and a network of partners engaged youth worldwide around the historic 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) global climate talks in Paris and beyond. Federal agencies and external organizations in the United States committed to work to enhance youth engagement, forming the #Youth4Climate – Road to COP21 campaign through coordinating youth and education efforts.
Prior to the Paris conference, The Wild Centeroffsite link, a nature museum, the Association of Science Technology Centersoffsite link, CommEd, and others worked to promote a Youth Climate Summit model across the country, inspiring summits in Detroit, Vermont, Seattle, and Finland. The summits engaged students in climate literacy through dialogue and action planning.
The campaign used the hashtag #Youth4Climate to coordinate events, activities, and related educational efforts — many of which fulfill Climate Education and Literacy Initiative commitments — up to and during the climate negotiations at COP21 in Paris December 2015. This initiative reached 33 million social media impressions during the conference, making it the largest youth focused social media presence at COP21. The #Youth4Climate partnership continues and focused again on the COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.