Most climate scientists agree that the increased greenhouse gas emissions produced by industrialised societies are causing global temperatures to rise. Knowing the facts is an essential first step in tackling the problem.
That's why education has a vital role to play in the fight against climate change. It's essential that people of all ages are encouraged to join the struggle to address the causes and effects of global warming.
We believe starting this education early is fundamental. Children need to know about climate change.
One of the ways the WWF/RSA partnership is spreading knowledge among young people is through our "Climate Challenge" competition in Danish schools.
In autumn 2009, all sixth to ninth graders in Denmark – more than half a million children – were invited to take part in the Climate Challenge, "Wild School".
The aim of the event was to teach children about climate challenges, and how they can help make a difference in their lifetime. Their first task was to lower their schools power consumption and answer a range of questions about climate change on the campaign website, located at politiken.dk. More than 25,000 children participated in the online event.
Four classes went onto the finals to spend 24 hours "surviving" in a Danish zoo or wildlife park. Each zoo represented a different place, facing a different climate challenge – Randers Rainforest (Rainforest), Knuthenborg Park and Safari (Africa), Scandinavian zoo (Arctic) and the Danish Aquarium (Ocean). The purpose was to send children "back to nature" by setting up a camp, building their own beds and cooking their own means from scratch. Their ability to cooperate, their knowledge on climate challenges and their endurance as a group were evaluated, and a winner was selected.
An 8th grade class from Bogø won the competition and were invited on a 5 day trip with WWF to Ilulissat in western Greenland to see first-hand the affects of climate change on the Arctic environment.
Isolated from modern civilization they went by dogsled across a branch of the world's largest fjord system and climbed a mountain to reach the small village Ittoqqortoormiit. The class was accompanied by Morten Hilmer and Søren Koch, both experienced nature photographers. The children were given digital cameras and shown how to use them by the photographers. Each child has chosen a picture to be displayed in an exhibition about Climate Challenge in libraries, zoos and wildlife parks across Denmark.
The trip was filmed and two programs will be broadcast on Danish national channel TV2 in the fall of 2010.