Following Al Gore’s Climate Leadership Corps Training, Marie-Claire Graf is ready to take the lead in sustainability solutions for Swiss universities.
This year has been a whirlwind full of successful sustainability ideas and climate change solutions. The concepts of the Sustainability Week Zurich and the Swiss Sustainability Week received awards and at the Clinton Global Initiative University 2017, held recently in Boston, I had the opportunity to present our successes and spread ideas to people from around the world. Afterwards I joined 1,360 climate leaders in Pittsburgh, U.S.A, for The Climate Reality Project’s Climate Leadership Corps Training.
Their motto promises:
Give us three days. We’ll give you the tools to change the world.
The Climate Reality Project, founded and chaired by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, is dedicated to finding global solutions addressing climate change by encouraging actions and educating leaders. It is a global network of citizens committed to the implementation of solutions to climate change. So far, it has trained over 13,500 “Climate Reality Leaders” worldwide, and I am honored to be counted among them.
To prepare the universities for the future and to reach Switzerland’s contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement, I am committed to implementing smart sustainability practices in every university in Switzerland. Using existing instruments such as: ETH Zurich’s and University of Zurich’s Sustainability Commissions, Sustainability Week Zurich, as well as the national Swiss Sustainability Week, and international Swiss Youth for Climate, my team and I hope to transform education by making it more future-oriented and sustainable.
For three-days, The Climate Leadership Corps provided training on with a variety of topics, ranging from climate science to solutions and communication strategies. The program included highly interesting panel discussions on topics such as, “Climate Justice is Social Justice,” workshops titled, “Start your 100% Renewable Commitment,” and keynote speeches that featured high-level influencers like, Al Gore. Mr. Gore’s tireless energy and passion to fight climate change and present solutions was contagious. His lengthy presentation covers three main questions:
- “Must We Change?
- “Can We Change?”
- “Will We Change?”
See and share Al Gore’s famous Truth in 10 slideshow, a 10-minute presentation that will help to spread a simple message to your community: the climate crisis is urgent, but the solutions are at hand.
Without revealing any secrets, I am convinced that after listening to the presentation, you too will agree that we must fight climate change. Glaciers and ice shields are melting and storms becoming more and more devastating, but the good news is that we can change our world. Clean energy solutions, like wind and solar power, are becoming more affordable, battery life improving and buildings more efficient every year. It’s comforting to know that ETH Zurich’s research on energy science is counted among the world’s leading. While ETH Zurich already achieves 100% renewable electricity, we can achieve more! (ETH Sustainability Report, 2015/2016, p.51)
Since 197 parties signed the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions planet-wide in order to achieve the 2°C goal, the world has united in working for a sushtainable future with net zero carbon emissions. On 5 November 2017, the Paris agreement entered into force in Switzerland. Therefore, I feel compelled to encourage every university in Switzerland to work towards this goal. The Swiss Sustainability Week, launched on the 7 November 2017, contributed towards achieving the Swiss goals supporting the Paris Agreement. The first Swiss Sustainability Week will take place during the week of 5 March 2018.
Back to the training: it was an impressive climate science and solution, leadership, and, also, hope-focused conference. It was an amazing experience to interact with so many incredible committed people, to inspire and be inspired. The Swiss Sustainability Week team and I left with the tools to create and lead the future. Hopefully, making a change for the better.
Sustainability Week Zurich (German webiste)
By Marie-Claire Graf
Marie-Claire Graf recently participated in the Climate Leadership Corps Training in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. The training hosted by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, focused on solutions for climate change. Marie-Claire is 21 years old and lives and studies political and environmental sciences in Zurich. She is active in several initiatives surrounding sustainability issues. She is also the president of the Swiss-wide Student Sustainability Organization and she co-initiated the Swiss Sustainability Week. For further information or requests.