Jason Bade is a 2009 California Climate Champion from Foster City, who graduated from Aragon High School in June. In this post, Bade reports on his trip to Germany earlier this month, where he met with other young activists from across the globe, to discuss strategies for combating climate change.
World Youth Coalesce Around Climate Goals
By Jason Bade
Greetings from Stuttgart, Deutschland! I’m here attending the UNESCO World Youth Festival. Essentially the festival is a chance for youth from all over the world to exchange ideas and culture as well as to be educated on particular issues affecting the world.
For two of the days, there was a World Youth Congress, which focused on energy and climate change. I was one of fourteen International Climate Champions from six countries who came to help lead the climate change workshops, speak at the opening ceremony, and formulate the Stuttgart Declaration [PDF], the ultimate goal of the conference.
On Wednesday evening, several ICCs and I spent time with staff from the festival to formulate all the ideas born in the workshops into that single, cohesive document. In it, we detail a call to action from the youth of the world to the business community, the science community, our elected leaders, and ourselves, in which we expound on what we feel must be done by each respective group, in order to effectively combat and adapt to climate change. The Declaration was then presented on Friday to a local representative from each of those communities in Stuttgart.
While the document itself may contain no groundbreaking concepts, the fact that such a diverse crowd of youth assembled to discuss solutions to these problems–without attention to national pride, patriotism, or selfishness–is significant. Regardless of the actual substance produced on paper, the real benefits of this festival are the connections and friendships made among youth of such myriad cultures. It is when people have these experiences early in their lifetimes that they grow up to treat and respect others’ cultures with zeal unseen in those who have only been confined to their own people. It was an experience I wish others could only be so lucky to enjoy!