On Saturday, 25 November 2017, more than 100 students, educators and climate experts from more than a dozen schools throughout Germany and Austria gathered at Munich International School (MIS) for the Youth Climate Summit. Organised by students from MIS, this exclusively student-led initiative was an effort to motivate students, ages 13-18 to apply newly gained skills to make their schools more environmentally friendly through engaging workshops, activities, and inspiring speakers.
Guest speakers of interest included Josefine Anderer-Hirt: Climate protection manager for the city of Starnberg, Dr. Inga Beck: PR consultant at the Zugspitze environmental station Schneefernerhaus, Felix Finkbeiner: Founder of Plant-for-the-Planet & MIS Alumnus, Dominic Frongillo: Internationally recognized climate activist & five-time delegate to the United Nations; co-founder of Energy Independent Caroline, Mareike Hachemer: Educator & UNESCO delegate for the role of teachers in Peace and Sustainable Development, Jen Kretser: Director of Wild Center’s Youth Climate Summit Initiative, and Andreas Obermeier: Biologist & environmental educator for Green City e.V. & programme director of Carrotmob macht Schule (National Climate Initiative of the German Federal Environment Ministry), as well as many other specialists and thought leaders.
In addition to a series of inspiring workshops and lectures, participating school teams also developed their own actionable carbon reduction plans designed to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions back in their schools and local communities.
“Today’s students will almost certainly experience the negative impacts of climate change during their lifetime”, commented MIS Head of School Timothy Thomas. “The Youth Climate Summit provided an opportunity to equip engaged and concerned students with information, tools and inspiration to start making a positive impact on the environment today. Students from more than a dozen international, public and private schools came together at MIS to learn from each other and from experts in the field of climate science. I was thrilled to see so many young people committing themselves to take action on behalf of our planet. And I am especially proud of the dozens of MIS students who worked for months to make the Youth Climate Summit a reality and a success”.
Younger students, ages 8-12, were also in attendance for the Plant-for-the-Planet academy, where they learned about the causes and consequences of climate change, and engaged in activities such as planting trees. Participants were subsequently appointed ‘Ambassadors for Climate Justice’, upon completion of the one-day academy. For more information about the Youth Climate Summit at Munich International School, please visit http://misyouthclimatesummit.de/.
The MIS Youth Climate Summit was generously funded by the MIS Foundation and the MIS Science Inspiration Fund.