Youth ambassadors from 11 countries, including India, come together against climate change

Nearly 200 young people from 11 countries, including India, recently laid the foundation stone for a worldwide youth climate network within the ‘YouThinkGreen' programme at Wolfsburg in Germany.

They aim to implement specific everyday action against climate change in 13 cities around the globe through local sustainability projects. Indian students from New Delhi are participating with a project on sustainable waste management.

Under the slogan “Pathways to sustainable development — youth in action campaigns for change”, the young activists met for a week-long intensive brainstorming session in Wolfsburg. Together with researchers and climate experts, they developed strategies and solutions to achieve an environmental rethink in society, politics and the economy. Furthermore, the working programme for the week gave them the opportunity to look behind the scenes at Volkswagen AG and explore its approach to sustainable mobility, summarised by the motto ‘Think Blue'.

Since its inception at the United Nations Climate Summit in Durban in 2011, YouThinkGreen has trained young people from all over the world as climate ambassadors. Participants come from India, China, Peru, Brazil, Germany, Iceland, Bulgaria, Italy, Egypt, Namibia and Turkey. The initiative builds on the success of previous events.

The first European Youth Summit on Climate took place in Berlin in 2009. Back then, more than 100 young people from five European countries were trained as climate ambassadors, supported by climate experts, prominent figures and representatives from civil society, media, politics, and economy. The young climate ambassadors are supported by their new patron, Christina Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as by EU-Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard.

“Local commitment by means of specific everyday life measures and global exchange of experiences are two crucial elements in the fight against climate change. With the help of the new network, all young participants of the project YouThinkGreen set a good example,” according to Ms. Figueres.

An online social network at www.youthinkgreen.org enables participants to exchange experiences regardless of national borders. The young climate ambassadors will have the opportunity to motivate other people to actively campaign against climate change via this platform. YouThinkGreen is sponsored by Volkswagen AG, the Mercator Foundation, the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), the Bingo Environmental Lottery Foundation and the Federal Foreign Office.