Young leaders take part in epic Antarctic Expedition to become Climate Change Ambassadors
Youth are the dreamers of tomorrow.
Getting emails from youth activists around the world who are taking climate action might be my favorite thing ever.
Last month I received an email from Pradeep, a social worker by passion and climate activist from India.
He reached out to let me know about the International Antarctic Expedition (IAE), where 100+ young leaders from 30 countries around the world would be participating in an epic journey lead by the legendary polar explorer and environmentalist Sir Robert Swan.
The expedition took place in March and was aimed at transforming young leaders into ambassadors for climate change. So cool!
The mission of this expedition: to build a sustainable society, to promote recycling & renewable energy and to create awareness about climate change and climate action.
Pradeep reached out because he wanted to promote the work of Stand For Trees to the global community of activists that he would be taking on this journey with. Of course we were more than happy to get involved.
This is what it’s all about!! Shared responsibility and collective action.
Pradeep just got back from the expedition and this is what we discussed:
Can you tell us more about the expedition and what you accomplished?
“The mission of the 2041 International Antarctic Expedition is to inspire young leaders to take action on environment and to preserve Antarctica by transforming young leaders into ambassadors of renewable energy.
Antarctica is under serious threat because of climate change and 25 years from now, 2041, is a very important year for Antarctica because of the re-negotiation of moratorium on mining in Antarctica.
140 young leaders from 30 nations took part in this expedition which included people from NASA, Google, Siemens, Shell, educators, government officials, environmentalists and more. I was in a solar panel testing team at Antarctica for Robert Swan’s south pole energy challenge, where he will be walking to south pole completely using renewable energy like never before to spread a message that we can reach incredible goals with clean energy. We brainstormed on issues that increase our carbon footprints like food, energy, and transportation and came up with solutions to take action.”
Why is it important for youth to take climate action?
“Youth are the dreamers of tomorrow. They need to decide whether they want to be living in harmony with nature or not. Youth have that super power to influence governments and organizations to take action on environment. But for that to happen youth should be the flag bearers of change for the climate action and inspire others to take action as well.”
What did you learn from this experience?
“Antarctica showed me the truth about climate change. When huge chunks of ice fell down in a blink of an eye, I learned that nature is more powerful than us and we need to respect the continent. This expedition gave me hope that we will win the climate change challenge that we are facing. Like minded people representing all 5 continents brainstormed and came up with strong solutions to take action. I learned about our carbon footprints and that the food on our plate plays a huge role in this, so I have decided to consume food that is grown locally and to shift toward a vegan diet.
I want to be the change and inspire others to take action. We formed a strong network among educators and decided to mentor students to take environmental action because children’s actions will decide the future of this planet. In the process, I gave a presentation at Cardenal Newman school in Buenos Aires, Argentina and will be working with them for future projects on the environment.”
What inspired you to take part in this?
“I have witnessed climate catastrophic events very closely and have worked in their relief operations in both India and Nepal. I believe that Climate Change is one of the biggest challenge of this century and there is very little time left to act. I was moved by Sir Robert Swan’s vision to preserve the last great wilderness of Earth, Antarctica, and decided to apply for the expedition.”
What motivated you to represent Stand For Trees on this expedition?
“I was impressed by the work Stand For Trees is doing to empower citizens to protect endangered forests and in reducing CO2 emissions. It’s very important to change behaviors and the mindsets of citizens and to inspire and empower them to take direct action to live in harmony with nature. I appreciate Stand For Trees efforts in doing that and from south of this world I want to spread the message of Stand For Trees. Infact, I decided to offset my carbon footprint in my expedition with Stand For Trees.”
What is your message to global citizens who want to take action to protect the planet?
“Like Branches on a tree we may grow in different directions of the world, yet our roots remain the same, as one, as global citizens.
Antarctica does not belong to any tribe or a nation, it’s the responsibility of all of us to preserve the most pristine places on earth. We need to think globally and act locally to tackle the climate change crisis.
As Robert Swan says, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that somebody else will save it.” Let us all as global citizens plant hope, take action and win this climate change challenge.”
If you’re feeling inspired global citizens, check out the work we are doing at Stand For Trees and take action to protect the planet today!
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of each of the partners of Global Citizen.