“We are supporting an outstanding group of 12 youths aged 20-26, from across the Midwest, to be our eyes and ears at the climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark,” said Nicole Rom, the executive director of the Will Steger Foundation. “As correspondents at the talks, our delegates will have a front-row seat to significant climate policy discussions. Though various channels, they will explain and educate like-minded youth, students, general public, and journalists in the difficult and often confusing negotiations.”
In Copenhagen, they will also work collaboratively with Norwegian youth, led by 2008 Ellesmere Island Expedition, Tobias Thorleifsson. They will also connect with Norwegian students in the sciences who recently completed a Summer Institute program at the University of Minnesota in collaboration with the Will Steger Foundation.
“I am honored to continue to work with Norway around our educational efforts, from working with Norwegian students here in Minnesota, to educating youth from across the Midwest on solutions to climate change. And Norway is a leading example,” Will Steger said.
The Midwest delegates hail from Lutheran colleges including Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn., and Norwegian communities, including Fargo, N.D., and Minnesota. "We are really excited to be continuing our relationship with Norway and supporting the next generation of leaders. Delegates will bring the voice of the Midwest – and the energy and vision of the next generation of climate leadership – to the U.N. climate negotiations to ensure that we seize the unprecedented opportunity to put America on the path to a clean energy future,” Rom said.
The Norwegian government has stated that Norway is to be an international leader in environmental policy. To that end, Norway is working to achieve a more comprehensive, ambitious international agreement on climate change that will take effect after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012) expires. Norway is also continuing to fulfill its current obligations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions both nationally and internationally.
“We are in the countdown to the climate summit in Copenhagen. If we are to bring global warming under control, it is vital that the world’s leaders succeed in reaching a new global climate agreement,” stated Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.
In Norway’s view, specific targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions must be established. Norway’s own target is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 30 percent of its 1990 emissions by the year 2020.
Norway is working to incorporate emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries in a new international climate agreement to provide incentives to reduce emissions from these sources. Norway has therefore proposed the establishment of a global REDD mechanism.
Both the Arctic and Antarctic play a vital role in the global climate system. Norway is working to ensure that the polar regions are monitored closely, and that knowledge about climate change in these regions is used to improve decision making in the area of climate change.
Read more: www.willstegerfoundation.org