High schoolers learn climate action strategies at youth summit

Students at youth summit pose for a group shot.
Posing for a group shot at Harvard Chan School

August 1, 2023 – Eighty-five high school students from the U.S. and beyond learned about climate change from a variety of perspectives—and got ideas on how to tackle the climate crisis in their own communities and beyond—at an annual youth summit held in late July at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The weeklong summit, hosted by the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard Chan School (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE) and Putney Pre-College, dove into issues of climate change, equity, and public health and featured three dozen experts, including scientists, health practitioners, policymakers, youth activists, climate content creators, and clean energy innovators. In lectures, workshops, and small activities, students focused on topics such as environmental justice, policy and advocacy, and climate communications.

The summit included three keynoters—Gaurab Basu, C-CHANGE director of education and policy; Kari Nadeau, chair of the Department of Environmental Health and C-CHANGE interim director; and Aaron Bernstein, former C-CHANGE interim director. Other Harvard Chan School experts who spoke at the summit include Howard Koh, Vish Viswanath, Caleb Dresser, Peter James, Amanda Yarnell, Chris Golden, Scott Delaney, and Skye Flanigan.

Students also got a chance to simply have fun: They explored Boston, toured Harvard Yard, and rowed kayaks on the Charles River.

Karen Feldscher

Photos: Erica Frisk

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