• Climate Change
Youth Conference (Experimentarium, Denmark)
The British Council, Copenhagen's Experimentarium and the European Environment
Agency's Youth Conference on Climate Change, held on November 5th,
2002 as part of the European Science and Technology Week, generated
considerable discussion of the causes of Climate Change and raised
awareness amongst the audience of 200 sixth form school students
(high school) of the complexity of the issues.
Conference President, Dr Robert Watson, World Bank's Chief Scientist
and Director for Environmentally and Social Sustainable Development
Network, summed up by asking the question "How much evidence
do we need before we act to protect future generations ?
The next generation responded with a resounding "Yes,
it's time to act."
Anne Kolker, Copenhagen International School, said "We
only have one world, we need to work together to decrease greenhouse
gas emissions in the industrialised world and help countries in
the South develop sustainably."
But, Jonas Beyer, Næstved Gymnasium added "Let's
be honest, this has to be made more convenient for us. We are
not willing to give up luxuries like watching TV or using hairspray“.
This provoked a response from Anne Pontoppidan, Amtsgymnasium
i Roskilde, "We need to set our priorities, do we want to
live conveniently or do we want our children to live !"
The student's prior conceptions of climate change were assessed
electronically by questionnaire before the conference and again
At the close of the conference students were more sure that
climate is changing, had a better understanding of the combined
influence of human activities and natural variation on climate
change and they're more willing to change their lifestyles. Most
of the participants came to realise that climate change had a
negative impact on their daily lives.The Youth Conference on Climate
Change was supported by the British Embassy, the Danish Meteorological
Institute and, to extend the project to involve schools in the
United Kingdom, the Royal Geographical Society.
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