NRDC Endorses Climate Education in New York City

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For Immediate Release
Release Date: 2/17/2015
Contact: Leah Qusba | 262.880.8661 | leah@acespace.org

Currently, 13 states have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards and now, New Yorkers are adding to the growing chorus of voices around the country calling for more climate science in schools. 

This week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), on behalf of their 12,593 members in New York City and 1.7 million members nationally, officially endorsed Resolution 0375-2014, encouraging the New York State Department of Education to include lessons on climate change in K-12 curriculum. Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) and Global Kids have been pushing for this climate education mandate since 2013 through a joint campaign created in partnership with youth leaders on the frontlines of climate change in New York City.

ACE and Global Kids youth leaders have been working closely with Council Members Costa Constantinides and Donovan Richards, and at least nine other sponsors, to introduce and now urge the passage of the Resolution. Student leaders have circulated a petition, written op-eds, and organized letter writing and phone banking to ask their City Council members to support the Resolution.

New York City students are all too familiar with the impacts of climate change. Many of the leaders in the ACE network are on the frontlines of climate change, already experiencing impacts like extreme storms, floods and the urban heat island effect. They experienced firsthand the destruction of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and see climate education as a clear pathway to mitigation. Since then, young New Yorkers and their allies have taken to the streets to protest inaction on climate during the People’s Climate March and to call for comprehensive climate education in their schools. 

Since 2010, ACE has presented to and worked with over 170,000 students in the greater New York City area and has witnessed their willingness to fight climate change. We applaud Councilman Constantinides’ resolution and urge the city of New York set an example to cities across the country by arming students with the knowledge to create a greener future.

More about ACE:

The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) recognizes that young people have the most to lose when it comes to climate change, and the most to gain by solving it. ACE educates high school students about climate change and inspires them to take action.

Since 2008, ACE has reached over 1.8 million students across America with its climate education program and inspired over 300,000 students to take action. ACE has also empowered thousands of new and diverse students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be effective leaders. The program has been proven to work. In 2014, ACE students advocated for a New York City climate education mandate, pushed for school districts to cut carbon, and partnered with policy experts for lasting climate solutions.

ACE seeks to shift the landscape of climate engagement, which has traditionally excluded young people and communities of color – those that are most affected by climate consequences. 73% of ACE schools are public and 60% of students in its programs are youth of color.