Photo: Ulrik Jantzen

DTU strongly represented in the Danish Youth Climate Council

Both the President and one other member of the Danish government’s new Youth Climate Council are DTU students.

Nearly 400 young people signed up to make an effort to impact Danish climate policy when Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt opened the admission round for Ungeklimarådet (the Youth Climate Council) at the start of this year.

Now the Ministry has selected ten dedicated young people from very different backgrounds. Two of them are students at DTU.

The idea for the new climate council came from young delegates who were invited to the COP24 climate change conference in Poland. One of these was Monika Skadborg. She has a BSc in Environmental Engineering from DTU, and during her studies she focused on eco-friendly solutions, as she sees the climate crisis as the biggest challenge of our time. She currently works for the Danish Youth Council, and it is in this capacity that she has been elected President of the Youth Climate Council.

Den Grønne Studenterbevægelse (the Green Student Movement) also has a representative on the council, which has eight additional members, including Mathias Hansen. Mathias is a student on the DTU BSc Eng programme Design of Sustainable Energy Systems and dreams of developing the solutions needed to combat climate change. Along with three other students, he recently won IDA Bæredygtighedsprisen (the Danish Society of Engineers Sustainability Award) for an idea on how to turn seawater into fresh water through osmosis.

The Youth Climate Council has already held its first meeting, which, according to Monika Skadborg, showed that its young members have a plethora of ideas for how all of society can adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle. Over the coming year, these ideas will be turned into concrete proposals for action for the politicians.

“Young people actually know a lot about climate change and the solutions required. This is about our future, which is why it is so important for us to be involved, and we very much hope that the politicians will take us seriously, including if there is a change of government. There is so much momentum coming from young people, but the political system moves quite slowly. Hopefully, the Youth Climate Council will help to get things moving and contribute to making the necessary changes,” says Monika Skadborg.