2016 will be a pivotal year for climate change efforts: this is the year we will implement the critical climate policies and agreements passed in the last few years, including the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement. Our word for the year is ACTION. We all have a role to play.
This winter, we’ve already seen that climate change impacts are heating up. 2015 is set to blow past previous years as the hottest year on record, and December was full of wild weather extremes around the world.
Fortunately, the Paris Agreement and the Clean Power Plan give us unprecedented momentum to re-energize our efforts towards a just and sustainable clean energy future. This year, we will be working tirelessly to make sure we have strong policies here in Minnesota through our public outreach and youth leadership efforts. Our education program will support teachers with new curriculum resources and training for the new science standards that address climate change. Finally, Climate Generation will be marking 10 years since our founding in the lead-up to our anniversary event, scheduled for Thursday December 1, 2016!
At the end of 2015, we celebrated the year by looking back on our accomplishments – in 2015, we launched our Climate Minnesota convenings, we changed our name and revamped our website, we held a youth convergence with over 100 youth climate organizers from across the Midwest, and we led 10 teachers to Paris to share the COP21 climate talks with their students. What a year! We also said farewell and happy retirement to our partner, colleague, and climate change education champion at the U. S. Forest Service, Vicki Arthur. We first worked with Vicki in 2009, connecting our Expedition Copenhagen youth delegates with students in Washington D.C. from the U.S. Center of the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen. Read Vicki’s blog about our partnership here.
We are now hiring for an Administrative Coordinator – please spread the word to qualified candidates interested in working with us. Thank you for supporting us throughout and at the end of 2015. We greatly appreciate your contributions for our exciting work ahead!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
Summer Institute 2016 approaches!
Register today for our 11th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education! This year’s Institute will be held June 21-24, 2016 at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. Registration is $150; 26 Clock Hours and 2 Graduate Credits are available for an additional fee. The 2016 Summer Institute for Climate Change Education will focus on resources and training to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into your teaching – the first national science standards to include climate change. Hear from experts in climate science, engage in hands-on activities that help bring climate change concepts into the classroom, and network with other educators. This Institute is most valuable for middle school and high school teachers. Register now and please spread the word!
Education team gears up for 2016 education conferences
Come visit the education team at the winter conferences we will be attending! We’ll be talking about our new curriculum, Next Generation Climate, the Summer Institute, and how COP21 can fit into your classroom.
January 14-15, Minneapolis Convention Center
February 26-27, Duluth, MN
March 7, St. Cloud, MN
First annual YEA! MN Winter Mingler coming up next week
Join Climate Generation for the YEA! MN Winter Mingler, Wednesday, January 20th at Gandhi Mahal Restaurant in Minneapolis. Youth Environmental Activists of MN (YEA! MN), Climate Generation’s high school environmental leadership program, launched in 2008; since then, the program has grown into a staple of our work, supporting and empowering youth leaders across the Twin Cities Metro to facilitate shared skills and strategies, spark coordinated action at their high schools and engage these youth in the wider community. At the Mingler, attendees will hear from current students, meet YEA! MN alumni, connect with other YEA! MN supporters, and learn more about Climate Generation’s work to engage people in climate change solutions. Check out our blog post about the event and the history of YEA! MN, and RSVP for the Mingler here.
Youth Policy Organizer hired to lead YEA! MN engagement with Clean Power Plan
Climate Generation is excited to welcome Kyra Brown to the team! Kyra will be working with us for the next six months as our Youth Policy Organizer, engaging YEA! MN students and youth across Minnesota to support a strong and just Clean Power Plan at the state level. Kyra is a senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, double majoring in Nonprofit Management & Entrepreneurship. She is an active member of MPIRG and Black Lives Matter, and passionate about art as a tool for social change.
On the heels of the successful and historic conclusion of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, Minnesota leaders shared their thoughts on what the Paris Agreement means for our state. Our Executive Director, Nicole Rom, shared our plans for climate action in 2016, and the article also recapped our Dec. 16 post-COP21 panel discussion, held at the U of M’s Institute on the Environment.
One of our COP21 Education Ambassadors, Pine Island middle school teacher Peter Johnson, shared his experiences in Paris and the impact of the climate talks on his students in a feature story in his local paper. The story includes quotes from Johnson and his students on what the UN climate conference meant to them.
As part of a series of conversations previewing the year ahead, MPR News host Tom Weber interviewed our founder Will Steger about his plans for 2016. Will called 2016 a “year of action” on climate change, as the Paris Agreement and the Clean Power Plan move towards implementation.
As the new year kicks off, make a resolution to become involved in local efforts to tackle climate change in your community! Join a Green Team in your church or neighborhood, or incorporate climate-friendly actions into your existing book clubs, gardening clubs, or other organizations. The word of the year is action, as climate policies move from negotiation to implementation on national and international scales, and everyone has a part to play. Tackling climate change can seem like a daunting task on your own, but becomes far more hopeful and inspiring when you join together with others. As initiatives like our YEA! MN program demonstrate, climate action is best done with friends.