Author: Beckie Alexander, Education Ambassador

Advancing Climate Change Education in Minnesota

The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board convened all Minnesota COP21 attendees in a conversation at the Science Museum on January 12, 2016. We discussed what we learned and what the Paris Agreement means for all of us as far as next steps. (A short radio piece summarized the event which you can access here.) The event […]

We Need to Hear Each Other’s’ Stories

I left Paris struck by the power of the story. The news prior to COP21 indicated that the inclusion of language referencing a 2° temperature cap would be considered a victory. Upon arrival at Le Bourget on November 30, 2015, the small island states started telling their stories. They painted a personal picture of a […]

Waiting for an Agreement

“I take away from COP21 the power of story. The power of people’s stories has changed the dynamic here. From witnessing that, I’ve come to believe that my story means something, and my students’ stories mean something.” – Beckie Alexander, Dec. 11, 2015 It was a disappointment to wake up Friday morning to news that President […]


Power meetings, big and small, all the time! That is what it feels like here in the Blue Zone at Le Bourget. The intensity of the atmosphere has most certainly ramped up since Monday. More people have arrived and security has a bigger presence. The security folks inside the Blue Zone are firm but extraordinarily […]


“I present to you, Dr. Holdren, a mix of directives for action and hopes for the future from 110 eighth grade students, 40 seventh graders and 1 sixth grader. I am Beckie Alexander from Breck School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I teach eighth grade earth science. 2050 is often used as a marker year for future […]

Loss and Compensation at COP21

Loss and compensation: what does that mean, what does it look like. Several eloquent women and men gave meaning to those words today. Loss and compensation are critical issues at COP21 for many of the most vulnerable people in our world. Phrases I have used in my classroom such as climate justice and finance fairness […]

The COP21 Draft Accord

Article 2 of the draft COP21 agreement: “1.[All Parties [shall] regularly prepare, communicate [and implement] [intended] nationally determined [contributions][components] [on [mitigation] and adaptation] [undertakings in adaptation planning] [and means of implementation]” This is just one sentence in the draft of the accord being negotiated in Le Bourget this week. Everything that is in parenthesis is […]


“We are both guardians of the forest.” –Mundiya Kepenga’s statement to Robert Redford at today’s UNESCO event entitled “An afternoon with Robert Redford: Storytelling for Global Action” Today, I was privileged to listen to three guardians. Mundiya Kepenga is a Papuan traditional Leader from Papua New Guinea who, as he states, testifies about climate change with […]

Dedicated to ….

“Dedicated to the Kids of the World Born in 2001-02.” That is Ally and Ellie’s dedication for our COP21 book of hopes. The 8th graders of today were born in 2001 and will be 49 years old in 2050. As my students have been creating positions statements, directives to the negotiators, or hopes for our […]

Friday Feature: Meet COP21 Education Ambassador Beckie Alexander!

As our COP21 Window Into Paris program approaches, we will be featuring an educator in our delegation each week to share their thoughts on the program and how they plan to incorporate their experience at the UN climate change negotiations into their classrooms. This week’s featured educator is Beckie Alexander, an eighth grade Earth Science […]