CLEAN Teleconference Call October 16, 2018

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Jen Kretser: Youth at the Helm of Building Community Climate Empowerment

Abstract: The Wild Center's Youth Climate Program is a global initiative that convenes, engages, and empowers young people to act on climate change related activities in their schools and communities through Youth Climate Summits. Each Youth Climate Summit is a one or two day event that brings youth together to learn about climate change science, impacts, and solutions. Through speakers, workshops, and activities, the Summit culminates with student participants writing a Climate Action Plan that can be implemented in their schools, communities, and regions. Students gain the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to communicate with decision-makers. The solutions-focused education they receive at the Summit inspires them to begin a collaborative and productive dialogue with their respective civic and government leaders as they seek participation in their communities' climate change mitigation and adaptation plans. Organizing a Youth Climate Summit is a great way to educate and motivate students, connect with new partners, showcase green job pathways, and build capacity for youth leadership. This Youth Climate Summit model has been replicated and scaled in over 30 sites around the globe from New York State to Finland to Sri Lanka. The Wild Center's free Youth Climate Summit toolkit offers a detailed organizational framework, templates, budget, agenda, and timeline that can be replicated in communities and municipalities worldwide.

Jen Kretser is the Director of Programs for the Youth Climate Program at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY.

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