The Climate Collective’s first Youth Climate Summit is happening virtually across Newfoundland and Labrador this July. The Summit will bring young people ages 14-20 together, as well as speakers and workshop leaders, to engage with one one the most pressing topics of their generation; climate change.
For decades, scientists, world leaders, and ordinary people have grappled with what our planet will look like for future generations in the wake of climate change. Young people are at the forefront of not just talking about climate change, but demanding action.
Aptly named the Take Action! Youth Climate Summit, the roster of activities for this year’s Summit includes speakers, workshops and a climate action planning session to help NL youth create, and actualize, ways to combat climate change in their communities. Emma Troake, the 2021 Climate Collective Intern, will lead a session on developing a climate action plan using the model developed specifically for youth by The Wild Centre.
“I think it’s a unique opportunity for youth in Newfoundland and Labrador. I think youth are one of the largest groups that are interested in climate action and climate change science, but they don’t frequently get opportunities to speak their opinions and they don’t often get an opportunity to take action that is funded by organizations like this. They don’t often get the opportunity to do this meaningful action, they often only get to speak up when they are asked. They don’t often get to be leaders,” said Emma.
The Climate Collective is aiming to create more opportunities for young people to take the lead when it comes to climate change by “putting youth in the driver’s seat,” as Kate Murphy, Climate Collective Project Coordinator, puts it. This year, Kate has led the organization of the Youth Summit, but she is looking forward to supporting youth in taking a more active role in future summits. This will allow young people to have a say in what sessions, workshops and speakers they want to see.
This year, all Summit workshops and lectures will be held virtually over Zoom. All the sessions are free, and anyone between the ages of 14 and 20 are encouraged to register for as many sessions as they would like. Registration is now open online here.
“We have some workshops that I think are really interesting,” said Emma. “We have one workshop with Kayla George. She’s going to teach participants how to take soft plastics and weave them into baskets. We have a variety of interesting speakers from different businesses, like the Travel Bug in downtown St. John’s. They’re going to talk about sustainability. We also have the Starfish, which will teach you how to generate content for social media about climate action and climate change.”
“Elizabeth Boothby is a graduate student at Memorial University and she’ll be leading a workshop on Cli-Fi (climate fiction), so that one is a writing workshop,” said Kate on which session she is most looking forward to. “I think it will be a really cool one. In terms of speakers, talking to Dr. Joel Finnas about Climate 101 will be interesting to learn about and hear the local story on it will be interesting to me.” The full schedule of speakers and events is online here.
One of the most exciting parts of the Youth Climate Action Summit is that youth will have an opportunity to secure $500 towards the climate action plan they developed at the Summit. In the fall, groups can form Youth Climate Action Chapters at their schools and apply for funding to execute their plan.
To get in on the action, register to attend the Take Action! Youth Climate Summit online here. Follow the Climate Collective on Facebook and Instagram.
Kate Murphy is the Climate Collective Project Coordinator. She has a background in classics, and has worked as a science interpreter at the Johnson Geo Centre and on science education programming with the MUN Botanical Garden.