The World Summit of Students for Climate will bring students from 70 countries and all continents to Helsinki. The one-week Summit from 29 May to 5 June will be attended by 135 students and 100 teachers. The Summit wants to make the voice of 14–17-year-olds heard in climate questions and highlight the significance of education in the solving of the challenges related to climate change.
Another goal is to sign a world students’ climate agreement. In order to implement the climate agreement, there will be a long-term school campaign, whose goal is to plant trees and bind three million tonnes of carbon dioxide by the year 2025. The curriculum of the Helsinki schools emphasises participation, influencing and the building of a sustainable future: the objective is that the pupils within basic education will gain confidence in their own possibilities to influence as well as motivation and skills to act in view of promoting a sustainable future.
The first part of the summit starting 29 May will be held in Liperi and Joensuu, while the latter part starting 3 June will be held in Helsinki. During the summit days, students and teachers work together and separately with questions related to climate and circular economy. The students discuss and share information about climate change, its consequences in their own countries and the methods used for fighting climate change and adapting to it. The programme includes group work, workshops, lectures and tours to different locations. Based on this, the participants will prepare the students’ climate declaration. One of the days has been devoted to planting trees. For teachers, there is, for example, workshops about climate education. On June 4, the students will participate in the We want future! circular economy festival, which is arranged at the Helsinki Central Library Oodi.
The Climate Summit culminates on June 5, World Environment Day, with the closing ceremony at the Helsinki City Hall, where the students publish the climate declaration.
The World Summit of Students for Climate is organised by ENO Schoolnet in co-operation with the cities of Helsinki and Joensuu, Ministry of Environment Finland and the Ministries for Forestry and Agriculture, for Education and for Foreign Affairs, Karelia university of applied sciences and the University of Eastern Finland. Many Finnish businesses, organisations and associations participate in the event as sponsors and support participants from developing countries with their travel costs. The patron of the event is the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö.
Helsinki’s goal is to be carbon-neutral by the year 2035. This means an 80 percent emissions reduction compared to the year 1990. The remaining 20 percent will be compensated. The intermediate target is a 60 percent emissions reduction by the year 2030. In December 2018, the Helsinki City Board approved the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 Action Plan, which includes 147 actions for reaching the carbon neutrality goal.