Green Team Members Attend Columbia’s Youth Climate Summit

On April 2, Luke R. ‘22 and Yanna G. ‘23 represented the High School Green Team at the 5th annual Columbia Youth Climate Summit.
With participants hailing from high schools across the city, the summit offered students the chance to learn more about the ecological and economic consequences of climate change from professionals in the field, and provided a forum to discuss and engage with the climate movement alongside their peers. Ultimately, the summit provided participants with a series of actionable items that they can share with their respective schools while providing them support to start enacting these items to their schools and communities. 

Organized by Ecoreps (a group of Columbia undergrads who promote sustainable initiatives and practices on campus), this year’s virtual summit featured presentations from climate action and sustainability thought leaders, breakout sessions in which students could discuss key topics amongst fellow students and more. Workshops touched on an array of topics, including the disproportionate effects of climate change on communities of color and sustainable development, as led by guest speakers such as Columbia University climate professor Jason Smerdon. Green Team co-leader, Luke was moved by the presentation, saying it “offered a hopeful outlook on a variety of environmental challenges relating to development like harnessing the power of technology to make industrial farming more efficient and environmentally friendly.” The presentation also provided him with new perspective. “To my surprise, the United States received a D- on the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card,” he began. “I had assumed [that] American infrastructure would generally grade well compared to other countries since the United States is a wealthy, first-world nation.” 

At the end of the summit, students were introduced to a special incentive called the “Leadership Certificate,” a recognition for students who complete a list of tangible and sustainable practices within their schools and communities. The Ecoreps will then follow up with students to assist in their progress towards receiving their certificate.

We look forward to seeing what practices and strategies the Green Team has to further our sustainability efforts. To learn more about our sustainability program, please click here
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Grace Church School is a co-educational independent school in downtown Manhattan, New York City providing instruction for nearly 800 students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.