Ransom Everglades Director of Environmental Sustainability Kelly Jackson and student climate activist Will Charouhis '24 attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November. Charouhis – one of the youngest delegates at age 15 – participated in a closed meeting with former President Barack Obama, met with U.S. legislators, and was featured on a televised youth panel and in a conversation with conservationist Jane Goodall.
Both he and Jackson, an RE science teacher, also took part in talks, seminars and exhibits offered by governments around the world. They joined some 40,000 other delegates from 197 countries at the climate change conference that resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact, a global agreement designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions, reduce the use of coal, phase out fossil fuel subsidies and other measures.
"It was incredible to see so many people come together," said Jackson about the October 31-November 12 event. "It was all-day, all-night. That convention center never closed."
It was the second such conference for Charouhis, founder of the non-profit We Are Forces of Nature, who also attended COP25 in Madrid two years ago. He called the meeting with Obama one of the highlights of the trip, noting that Obama urged the youth to press on amid challenges and frustration. Added Charouhis: "He told us that we need to keep our voices amplified, but move beyond advocacy ... [and] build broad-based coalitions necessary for bold action."
Charouhis, who has been active in climate change work since 2018, wrote this column after the conference.
"It was incredible," he said. "There were so many important people there, and it was maybe the most important conference in mankind's history. There was a lot of progress pledged, and if the promises are implemented and kept, COP26 will be remembered as the point we turned humanity inhabitability of the planet as we know back around."
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.