Youth Take Climate Action Towards a Greener World with eCards at COP28

Youth Take Climate Action

Creating an eCard with a potent climate message and sending it to a decision maker to drive climate action on policies that benefit the environment is a subtle form of advocacy that can have a profound impact. GreenLearning believes education plays a key role in preparing a generation of youth leaders who are ready to take action in preserving the environment. These youth are also willing to combat further impacts of the climate crisis by sharing their ideas for change. As part of a workshop collaboration between GreenLearning and the Centre for Global Education’s #Decarbonize program, a group of youth leaders who attended COP28 in Dubai in December 2023 created eCards to share their transformational climate messages.

The eCards program puts the needs and concerns of young people and the environment in the forefront for all Canadians, especially at a time when the climate future seems uncertain. Canada experienced the hottest summer and a record-breaking wildfire season in 2023. According to this CBC article,“… the total area burned has now exceeded 18 million hectares, which is two and a half times the previous record set in 1995 and more than six times the average over the past 10 years.” This is just one example of the climate crisis and while it appears to be already in full swing, there is still a great need for collective awareness and action from companies, leaders and governments.

Helping Youth Take Climate Action!

Young people can and should persuade decision makers in their communities to take action in addressing climate change. The youth delegates at the #Decarbonize Student Climate Summit at COP28 in Dubai demonstrated a lot of creativity while creating their messages and calls for action. The summit brought youth from various backgrounds together to share their stories, knowledge and perspectives about climate with each other. Their work incorporated a lot of art and creativity, which resulted in a cultural exchange within the global community.

The youth participated in GreenLearning’s eCards workshop and their climate messages were sent to specific community leaders. All their work is now published online in an eCards COP28 gallery. After the eCards workshop, the youth leaders were able to put their leadership skills to work immediately. The workshop helped youth take climate action in transferring their newly-gained eCards knowledge via a presentation (also based on a co-authored youth Manifesto). They presented to the elementary school students at FairGreen International School in Dubai.

“The eCards workshop that we held at the summit helped to build leadership, confidence and assertiveness in students who might have thought they weren’t typically creative or inclined towards being a leader. It also enabled them to see the connection between advocacy and the arts,” says Rebecca Moon, Online Learning Coordinator at Centre for Global Education. “Kids like it when they feel that they can achieve a tangible result or outcome such as their messages being received by a decision maker. It ensures they’re not just speaking into the void. Knowing that their eCards are being sent to the right person can make a difference.”

The Classroom Use Case for eCards

GreenLearning’s eCards tool was developed to help youth take climate action by enabling them to communicate with and encourage adults (mostly decision-makers) to take action for the climate. The youth are able to achieve this by learning about environmental issues, creating informed messages, and creating awareness about them. By sending an eCard, learners can then express what they have learned through their research and what matters most to them.

“eCards is more than just a greeting card, it is a mechanism for driving individual and collective climate action. In the process, it engages youth in developing their research, literacy, art, and critical thinking skills. For educators, it can help them integrate climate change education into their teaching practice and across multiple subjects,” says Kristina Johnston, Program Director at GreenLearning.

Moon acknowledges that it can be difficult for teachers to do new stuff or extra-curricular activities in the classroom and then give it a global framework or a climate action focus with art and other subjects incorporated into it. However, educators can simply cut and paste eCards into their existing lesson planning because it already has these connections.

Through art and writing, eCards supports environmental education and advocates for people to take meaningful, collective action. It was created with the goal of empowering students to be informed and active stewards of the environment. Moon envisions a future where a decision maker experiences a range of emotions through the combination of art and imagery in these COP28 eCards and then makes the right decision for the environment.

View the examples of how youth take climate action through the messages they’ve created. Here are some COP28 eCards we love!

COP28: Learning and teaching about the environment
Created by Beatriz

“It is very important that in schools, for example, children are taught about the consequences that could happen in the future if our world is not well looked after. In these teachings, children must also be shown how to avoid climate threats and guarantee a future for this generation. At my school in Brazil (Colégio Magno) we have a lot of sustainable education, which aims to introduce various sustainable practices into our school environment, as well as showing students the importance of this at all times.”

COP28: Our Earth is Angry
Created by Kristi

Mother Earth has no choice but to fight back at the way she has been abused. She is angry. She is fierce. We must earn her love and trust back...together.”

COP 28: Sustainable Education
Created by Otavio P.

“This image is a representation of the future. Schools should be sustainable, where there is education about the environment, as well as solar energy and a sustainable vegetable garden. If this were achieved, the benefits to the planet would be indescribable. Today, my school already has these actions in place, with minimal environmental impact, and we also have a compost bin that makes it impossible to waste food; even with these activities, our school is constantly looking for projects involving students, increasing their engagement.

eCards is part of the Waves of Change program led by Ocean Wise in partnership with Taking it Global, Centre for Global Education and Greenearning with financial support from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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