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So What is a Climate Champion?
Climate Change is one of the most important challenges facing the world. The increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use has led to dramatic changes in the Earth's climate, including warmer average temperatures and more frequent severe weather events like droughts and hurricanes. The vast majority of scientists agree that to avoid radical changes in our climate in the future, we need to act together, now.
The first step is to help people think about climate change as a problem that affects us all and realize that, collectively, we can make a difference.
Finding America's Climate Champions
Leaders from around the world recognize that climate change requires global solutions. But it's not just a problem for governments to tackle — it's an issue that requires everyone's help. After all, we are each responsible for carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to climate change.
We're inviting young people from California who are concerned about the issue, interested in communicating about it and committed to taking action to become Climate Champions. Champions work within a network of people in their schools, neighborhoods, and across the International Climate Champions program, to help reduce the causes of climate change and raise awareness of what everyone can do to make a difference.
Through a competition, young Californians (in grades 9-12) demonstrate that they have what it takes to develop local projects to raise awareness about climate change, and to engage their peers and communities in the effort. The strongest applicants become California Climate Champions.
Over the course of one year, the champions not only develop local, national and international projects that address climate change, but also work with the media or communicate in other ways about climate change.
From within the group of champions, students are selected to participate in international meetings, including a project planning workshop in Edinburgh, the UNESCO World Youth Festival, and other meetings of International Climate Champions. All of the 2009 California Climate Champions participated in an Orientation Day in April 2009 as well as a "climate camp" in June 2009.
The California Climate Champions program, sponsored by the California Air Resources Board and the British Council, is one of a number of similar initiatives established in many countries around the world. Learn more about the International Climate Champions Program.