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Mentorship matters for youth seeking climate change action – U of A

by pmnationtalk on December 4, 2015546 Views

December 2, 2015

UAlberta graduate students share expertise as high schoolers around the world submit policy paper at youth climate summit

Ask 200 high schoolers from 10 countries about the planet’s most pressing climate change issues, and the answers you’ll get will be as diverse as the group itself.

Students from countries with significant amounts of coastline, such as the Philippines, have a strong desire to keep flotillas of trash from being dumped into the oceans. Protecting surface water is a priority in India, where pollution is a major problem due to industrial effluent. Canadian students, on the other hand, strongly support Indigenous land rights and holding corporations to higher standards before developing biologically or culturally sensitive lands.

Despite differences in perspective, this group of students united in passion and purpose to present their climate change policy recommendations to global leaders at the Conference of Youth held last week in Paris, the precursor to the COP21 climate change summit. In total, they poured 25,000 hours of work into the project, eventually finding consensus through the mentorship of nearly a dozen University of Alberta graduate students.

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