Climate Action Day: Road from CAD to COP

By Dave Potter, Take Action Global Senior Director of Engagement

On November 2, Take Action Global (TAG) held its 4th Climate Action Day, an annual celebration of 4.4 million teachers and students from 154 countries taking climate action together in our community. Throughout the day, student voices were loud and clear: we understand the power of collective action and we are ready to create change in our communities and worldwide.

Next month, TAG co-founder Koen Timmers and I will bring this message to the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Dubai, November 30 to December 12, 2023. Koen and I will attend COP28 to advocate for more support for K-12 teachers and students, who are highly impacted by climate change yet are some of the least represented participants at climate policy meetings. 

This is a crucial COP for elevating education as a climate solution, and UAE Ministry of Education and Dubai Cares will lead the efforts, including bringing teachers to Dubai and hosting the RewirEd Summit, which will take place on COP28’s Youth, Children, Education, and Skills Day on December 8. In addition, the Green Zone Greening Education Hub will offer delegates and the general public programming throughout the two-week event. Koen and I appreciate the opportunity to meet with partners and policymakers to reinforce the message that: 1) educators and students are critical leaders of the movement to protect and secure our future; 2) teachers are of the most important climate investments for foundations, corporations, and governments;  and, 3) there is an urgent need to provide more opportunities for girls from diverse backgrounds to come together in cross-cultural exchange for dialogue, shared experience, and action.

As part of our preparation for COP28, the TAG team is pleased to partner with SubjectToClimate and the Council on Foreign Relations Education Team to create this COP28 Teacher Guide. We have also prepared by expanding our partnerships with international organizations, including LEGO, Ashoka, Accenture, World Economic Forum, UNESCO Greening Education Partnership, and FHI360 and the Global Response to Education and Environment Network (GREEN), a consortium of actors working at the intersection of education and climate change. 

My team was inspired by what legendary skater Tony Hawk told students on Climate Action Day: “I realize you are taking on a big challenge; one of the biggest of our times: climate change. I know what it’s like to advocate for something that is mostly misunderstood. But you have to stay the course and find purpose in what you are doing if you are not getting the accolades for it. Because it will be some of the most rewarding work in the end.”

We look forward to representing the TAG community in Dubai and helping ensure that teachers and students are recognized as the climate leaders our planet needs right now. 

Watch the full recording of Climate Action Day:

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