And they’re off: the National Youth Climate Exchange Summit


Global Kids Environmental Justice Institute 2012

This afternoon I’m boarding a plane with three Grow Dat Policy Interns – Amber Young, Josh Kemp, and Kamau Johnson – to attend the National Youth Climate Exchange (NYCE) in Pennsylvania.

Grow Dat is honored to join the NYCE, the latest Global Kid’s Human Rights Activist project. Youth from Grow Dat in New Orleans are participating in a 3-day climate action summit with Build it Up West Virginia and Global Kids students from NYC and Washington, DC.

Addressing climate change is key to us at Grow Dat because food system emissions account for  between 19%-29% of all total greenhouse gases. And agricultureaccounts for 80%-86% of emissions within the food system. Check out the infographics from CGIAR:

FoodSystemEmissions Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 12.58.31 PM

On our farm, youth grow food using sustainable and chemical-free methods. Our commitment to carbon reduction and environmental stewardship ensures that agriculture is part of the solution, rather than remaining a leading contributor to the problem.

To reduce our carbon footprint, most of the 5-month long fellowship is conducted via Google Hangout and conference calls. This summit is an opportunity for youth to get to know one another face-to-face. Atendees will spend the weekend crafting action plans for environmental justice work in their communities.

Youth in New Orleans know all too well the threat of sea level rise and the fallout of increasingly extreme weather patterns. Their voices are key to understanding the real impacts of a changing climate.

Stay tuned to see these young activists in action upon their return!

-Jeanne Firth
Grow Dat Program Specialist