A few years ago I ran across Steve Lee online. Our paths crossed on social media and we exchanged information on how each of us was actively engaged in various climate actions. At the time, Steve was working on a new initiative which he called the 3% Project.
And then at a recent Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada conference I attended, Steve was one of three youth panelists involved in advocacy work – climate, social justice and gender equality. I’m pleased to feature the 3% Project, an ambitious initiative to mobilize Canadian youth spearheaded by Steve. (The text and the images are sourced from the the 3% Project website).
The 3% Project
Published on Jun 28, 2016
Standard YouTube licence
The 3% Project mobilizes 1,000,000 Canadian youth through 5 national tours across 400 towns in 2 years. 1 million young Canadians – that’s 3% of Canada – will be educated and empowered to solve climate change in their local communities. The result will be a nation-wide conviction that climate change is happening right now, that it is mainly caused by human activities, and that we’re the final generation with the opportunity to solve climate change.
While 79% of Canadians believe the earth is warming, only 44% believe that this warming is mostly a result of human activities. Americans are three times more likely to admit human activity for the changing climate than we are.
The 3% Project skillfully exposes the factors that lead to the climate indifference of Canadians:
- We are not witnessing the worst impacts of climate change happening right now around the world;
- Our over-dependency on oil sands creates a culture of “climate or my family”;
- Active environmental groups are largely disconnected and cannot impact mainstream climate conviction;
- Youth need and want a holistic education on climate change, and
- Without taking meaningful action, youth become climate indifferent.
The 3% Project focuses on public education as the key ingredient to mobilize Canadian youth. It’s a prerequisite to enact policies that match the ambition of the Paris Agreement
The 3% Project contacts youth leaders in schools. The youth leaders then invite 3% in coalition with other student clubs in the school to join an action project. This is followed by an assembly of partners to identify the Biggest Sustainability Challenge and design solutions. Climate education is provided through the assembly vehicle.
A sustainable implementation of the selected long-term action project requires mentorship and accountability. Regional Coordinators and teachers fulfill this role and 3% Project becomes a platform.
The 3% Project has 3 clear goals to empower the final generation that can solve climate change:
- Provide youth-friendly and holistic education on climate change;
- Empower youth to take action on solving climate change in
their local communities today, and
- Achieve more consensus across Canada that climate change is
happening & mainly caused by human activities.
We urgently need a campaign that shakes the entire nation as waves upon waves in a short time span – 3% Project is designed to do exactly that.
Steve Lee is a 25-year-old climate change activist, a policy advocate to the United Nations, and a global speaker. He is the Executive Director of FES (Foundation for Environmental Stewardship) and its 3% Project. A prolific global speaker, Steve has represented Canadian youth on the issues of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Youth Empowerment at over a dozen international forums including G8 Summit, NATO, Facebook, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, and World Bank.
Other youth climate actions..
Strike For Climate: Fridays For A Future