Climate ambassadors in Bonn: The first driving licence for climate protectors

Four thousand children in Bonn already have a driving licence: it’s proof that they are Bonn climate ambassadors. They have earned it: To get it, they have had to master 32 questions and tasks. As Bonn climate ambassadors, they pass on their knowledge to family and friends.

The Bonn Climate Ambassador Foundation (Stiftung Bonner Klimabotschafter) aims to encourage Bonn’s residents, businesses and organisations to promote climate protection. Bonners are urged to take an interest in the subject and promote the idea in their private or professional lives. To help achieve this, the foundation, launched in 2010 under the aegis of the Bonn Civic Trust (Bürgerstiftung Bonn), aims to enthuse the youngest citizens: Third-year primary school students in Bonn can be awarded the BONNi & BO Climate Driving Licence...

Engine for progress:

  • strong motivation of children for climate protection
  • exercises with direct relation to own living environment
  • comics as appropriate means of reaching young children
  • long-term impact
  • easily replicable in other places

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Photo: Stiftung Bonner Klimabotschafter

BONNi & BO accompany the children in their journey to achieve their climate driving licence – with stories, hints and information.

During ‘Climate Month May’, the children concentrate on all the relevant topics pertaining to climate protection. In their exercise books, they write up the details and tasks for the themes of energy generation and use, mobility, nutrition, water use and recycling. They are encouraged to understand the relevance to their own living environment: How efficient is their home refrigerator? How do they get to school? How much paper of what sort is used there? Once they have successfully completed the tasks on their own, they get a stamp in their climate savings book – and finally earn their BONNi & BO Climate Driving Licence.

Making climate protection fun: what is a polar bear doing in Bonn?

Who are “BONNi & BO”? That’s very simple: BO is a polar bear, who has come down from the Arctic looking for the reasons for climate change and ended up in Bonn. With BONNi, the lion from the Bonn coat of arms, he appears in a comic strip – developed by the cartoonist Özi – to help the children learn about climate protection. Through their adventures, they give the children entertaining advice and background information on climate protection.

From climate driving licence to climate service, extension to the whole of Bonn

To provide long-term support to what they have learnt, in the following school year the climate driving licence holders enter climate service. All the third-year classes which took part in the BONNi & BO driving licence programme receive a climate calendar in their fourth year at school. At the start of every month, the classes discuss a topic which they have tackled with the climate driving licence in May.
The BONNi & BO Climate Driving Licence is a very successful educational programme, motivating children to learn about climate protection through fun and enjoyable exercises. Every year, the programme is improved through structured feedback, and soon all Bonn primary schools will be issuing the climate driving licence. The first eight schools which participated in the programme from the beginning were named ‘BONNi & BO Climate Schools’ and awarded a plaque to be put up on the school building.

Photo: Bonn Climate Ambassadors Foundation

“Our aim is to run the BONNi & BO climate driving licence programme every year in as many Bonn schools as possible. The project has everything it needs to be successful in other cities and municipalities.”

Jürgen Reske, Director, Bonn Climate Ambassadors Foundation

Partners and sponsors

  • Stiftung Bonner Klimabotschafter
Counselling centers:
  • Amt für Umwelt, Verbraucherschutz und Lokale Agenda Bonn