Nearly 200 school children and 90 teachers from around the world poured into the North Karelian region of eastern Finland for the World Summit of Students for Climate 2019 (WSSC) on Wednesday. The event aims to include young voices in the climate change conversation, challenge the Paris Climate Accord of 2016 and vote on a joint agreement.
The first half of the week-long event will take place in the city of Joensuu and the municipality of Liperi in North Karelia before moving to Helsinki, where the students will declare their climate agreement on 5 June — World Environment Day. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is the patron of the summit.
Finnish educator at the helm
The main organiser of the summit is ENO (Environment Online) Schoolnet — a global school network and web community for sustainable development — founded by Mika Vanhanen, a primary school teacher in North Karelia, in 2000. To date, around 10,000 schools from almost 160 countries have participated in its activities.
“This campaign challenges schools around the world to commit to the goal of drawing out three million tonnes of CO2 by 2026 through initiatives like planting trees in areas where they are most needed,” Vanhanen explained.