Our Time to Lead: Youth Engagement on Climate Change

Event Date: 
Monday, November 30, 2015

U.S. Center at COP-21 Live Stream from Paris

An interactive panel of climate scientists, decision makers, science museums, and youth climate organizations (represented by youth) will showcase unique and diverse youth programming models and student-driven initiatives that are advancing place-based climate solutions. These efforts are aligned with U.S. government agencies’ leadership and commitments to climate action through climate education and literacy. USGCRP agencies and their partners at national and international level collaborate to build capacity to deliver programs focused on education, outreach and training programs and activities related to climate change.  Several place-based youth engagement initiatives, both in the United States and abroad, will be highlighted, and the live-stream will enable participation from youth around the world.  Each youth representative on the panel will speak about their organization’s actions, personal impacts, leadership, and outcomes. These presentations will be paired with short videos about each respective youth initiative.  Panelists and audience members will participate in a discussion and dialogue on the global role of youth as climate leaders. Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, will be used to interact with participants beyond the COP 21 site.  This panel presentation and discussion will cater to K-12 students, educators, college and university students, and leaders interested in fostering youth engagement.

The event will be open for Q&A using the hashtag #AskUSCenter.  Archive videos will be available at youtube.com/theuscenter.


  • Video Introduction: Dr. John Holdren, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy,  Director Dr. John Holdren (1 minute)

  • Moderator: Frank Niepold, USGCRP/NOAA

  • Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, former IPCC Vice-Chair for AR5 (Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Gina Fiorile, a sophomore Environmental Studies major and Aiken Scholar at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, The Wild Center, USA (youth representative)

  • Janette Flores (Youth representative), Detroit Climate Action Collaborative (Environmental Justice Organization/youth representative)