Kids Climate Conference: The other climate conference

The Kids Climate Conference was held for the first time in Germany in July 2015. 150 children between the ages of 8 and 14 spent a weekend in workshops formulating more than 550 ideas for a better world – from climate protection as a school subject to regional and more conscious consumption and even to some very specific suggestions, such as the use of solar energy at Center Parcs.

Imparting knowledge through play, stimulating creativity, developing ideas – all of this can be found on the Kids Climate Conference programme. In the summer of 2015, the Kids Climate Conference came to Germany for the first time, being held in Medebach in the Sauerland. The participating children, aged between 8 and 14, built seed bombs, made films and constructed a huge sculpture from rubbish.

Engine for progress:

  • intensive and creative sustainability education
  • more than 550 ideas for a better world
  • participants are transformed into ambassadors

1 of 10

Photo: Center Parcs

The Kids Climate Conference area at Center Parcs in Medebach. Seven stations, a marquee and a mess tent were set up over an area of two hectares, with an assembly point in the middle.

Children learn how to integrate climate protection into their daily routine

The conference encourages the new generation of climate protectors to think of simple ways of contributing to climate protection that anyone can implement: a more conscious approach to handling food, separating waste, using second hand clothes, and much more. The initiators of the event also gave the children a greater understanding of native animal species, the variety of nature and the forest as a habitat and source of reusable materials.
One outstanding model for the children was the presentation given by 13-year-old Theresa, ambassador of the children’s initiative “Plant-for-the-Planet”, who encouraged the children and their parents to plant trees. As part of the conference, each of the participants then planted a tree.
The first of these conferences organised by Center Parcs to be held in Germany also stirred its founder. “The enthusiasm and creativity with which the German children took on board what they’d experienced and transformed it into ideas,” exclaimed biologist Jean Hankins, “made my green heart beat a little faster.”

150 participants converted into 150 ambassadors

However, the conference is just the beginning. The weekend has turned the children into climate protection facilitators who will pass on their knowledge to their fellow pupils, friends and members of their sports teams.
From the more than 500 ideas devised by the children, a jury selected 40 to be outlined in a book, which the children will then present to their mayor back home. However, the children are also spreading their ideas beyond their municipalities. A Deutsche Post employee collected sponsored postcards at the conference on which the children are now sending messages to recipients of their choice.

Photo: Privat

“Planning the first national Kids Climate Conference and getting this amazing idea up and running in Germany was an exciting task. The bright eyes of the children and the exceptional level of involvement of all the participants made this a particularly special weekend.”

Gundi Heyer, Center Parcs, Operations Manager Germany

Partners and sponsors

  • Center Parcs LeisureDeutschland GmbH
  • WWF
  • Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation
  • Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V.
  • unicef Arnsberg
  • ...und viele mehr.