Rio+20-Bound: Student Leaders

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I will join the Green Cross and Global Green delegation at the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit) in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

This road to Rio+20 is paved in meaning for us at Global Green. At the first Earth Summit 20 years ago, President Mikhail Gorbachev was called upon to create and lead the Green Cross. Soon after that, Global Green was founded as the American arm of Green Cross International (GCI). Since then, our mission has been to "foster a global shift toward a sustainable and secure future" and we do not take this lightly. Our dedicated staff works every day to stem climate change and help the people and planet in crisis with our projects to green homes, schools, communities, and cities.

But we know we cannot do this alone. In recent months, we have called upon our supporters to sign our letter to President Obama, urging him to attend the conference with a plan for action. We need leaders to fight with us for the sustainable future we can have if we commit to making necessary changes to the way we treat our beloved -- but suffering -- planet.

We also need to engage young citizens to fight for their future. I am excited that American student leaders will join the Green Cross/Global Green delegation: Conner Miers from the Texas School for the Deaf, the winner of our Green School Makeover Competition; Pierre Beauchamp, the 2nd place winner from our Citizen Entrepreneur Contest; and Claire Goldberg of Santa Monica High School's Samohi Solar Alliance, a club started by a former Global Green intern. Paul Walker, Director of our Environmental Security and Sustainability Department in Washington, D.C., is also attending the conference and bringing along students from the two remaining U.S. chemical weapons stockpile sites whose safe and sound destruction we are helping to facilitate: Hannah Crowe and Lekey Leidecker from Berea, KY, and Claire Fries and Lauren Howe-Kerr from Pueblo, CO. Students joining the delegation are part of a Youth in Action GCI network-wide effort led by Maria Vitagliano, director of the Social and Medical Care (SocMed) Program, and her colleague Christina Wyttenbach, both based in Switzerland; children are going to Rio from the U.S., Ghana, and Brazil, with tie-ins to Ukraine and Bolivia.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how other cultures respond to what is going on in their countries in terms of helping the environment," Claire told us.

We look forward to posting reports from the trip and sharing the impressions from the students in our delegation....

UPDATE: Photos; video of Conner Miers; video of Claire Goldberg.