Reflections on EE Advocacy


Reflections on EE Advocacy

This blog was posted on behalf of Binod Neupane, the Executive Director of United Community Nepal (UniCoN), a 2023 Pratt & Whitney E-STEM Innovation Grant Awardee. UniCoN works to empower Nepalese students, especially girls from public schools, through aviation and STEM education, addressing climate change, sustainable energy, and transportation challenges.

On February 6th 2024, I had the incredible opportunity to join the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in New York on a lobbying mission in Albany. As part of the Climate & Resilience Education Task Force, and alongside students and concerned parents, I embarked on a mission to advocate for the importance of climate education. The experience was not only enlightening but also deeply inspiring.

The goal of the visit was to urge senators to co-sponsor a robust climate education bill (S.278A/A1559A). NWF aimed to underscore the critical role of climate education in equipping future generations with the knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges of the climate crisis head-on. What struck me the most during our time in Albany was the accessibility of the public to engage directly with lawmakers. Witnessing ordinary citizens, including students and parents, meeting with senators and advocating for important legislation was truly remarkable. I wish I had this type of practice in Nepal.

Throughout the day, I observed the dedication and passion of the NWF team, students, and parents as they shared personal stories and stressed the urgency of climate action. The response from policymakers was encouraging, with many expressing genuine interest in the cause and pledging their support for advancing climate education initiatives.

One of the most significant takeaways from the advocacy efforts was the power of unity and collective action. They all remained united in our commitment to effecting change. The collaboration demonstrated that when individuals come together with a shared purpose, they can drive meaningful progress.

Looking ahead, it is imperative that I continue to advocate for climate education at all levels of government and within my community in Nepal. By arming individuals with the knowledge and tools to understand and address the climate crisis, we can cultivate a more informed and empowered citizenry capable of driving change.