Augsburg. 59 young people from 20 countries founded the Plant-for-the-Planet-Initiative e.V. in Leitershofen near Augsburg on Wednesday, 2.11.2016. The aim of the association is to mobilize children around the world to plant 1,000 billion trees for climate justice. The history of the initiative began in 2007, since then over 14 billion trees have been planted. Today the children out of that time are grown up – and can finally set up their own, democratically organized club in the station of Uffing near the Staffelsee.
The first official meeting of the club members will be great action in Marrakech: 8 of the young people will travel to the UN climate summit in the next two weeks. The main goal of Plant-for-the-Planet is to plant 1000 billion trees worldwide which store the greenhouse gas CO2. In addition, children and young people are calling for a global energy revolution: energy should completely be CO2-neutral and obtained out of renewable sources – without nuclear waste and fossil fuels. Plant-for-the-Planet is also committed to climate justice, that is, an equitable distribution of the amount of CO2 that every citizen of this earth can still eject to maintain a maximum increase in the average temperature by 2 degrees Celsius.
"For the children on this earth this is a historic moment," says Felix Finkbeiner, co-founder of the association. The history of the initiative in 2007 started with him. The 9-year-old gave a lecture at the school on the climate crisis and trees as CO2 storage. Classmates and adults were enthusiastic about it, but he was not allowed to form a club with his friends, cause there were minors. For this reason, Felix Parents, both born in Augsburg, established the Plant-for-the-Planet-Foundation in 2011. This has been promoting the empowerment of children and adolescents in Plant-for-the-Planet Academies since then and will continue in the future. The trained ambassadors for climate justice are fighting for their future by giving lectures to the public, planting trees and formally engaging themselves in the legal form of the association.
Clara Slawik, 18 years old, has already given many lectures. She is thrilled by the founding of the association: "Now we are starting a movement from Augsburg by which we can really change children and adolescents. Only deeds matter, not words"
The 22-year-old Paulina Sanchez from Cancun explains: "At the climate conference, we want to make the adults clear that they will ruin our future if they do not act. 1,000 billion trees, that are 150 trees per citizen of this earth. Together we can make it! "
Trees absorb CO2 during their growth and bind it in the wood. If the tree is felled later and processed into furniture, for example, this CO2 remains bound to the life of the piece of furniture. In this way, the tree becomes the CO2 storage and removes some of the greenhouse gases that cause the climate crisis. 20 million people are fleeing the effects of the climatic crisis, from drought to natural disaster to wars.
Three years ago, family Finkbeiner acquired the station of Uffing for the children's and youth initiative and rehabilitated it to the first plus energy railway station of Germany. Wood fiber was used for the insulation of the 140-year-old station, warm water was collected via solar thermal energy and geothermal energy, the electricity, generated over 71 PV modules, is stored in a 14 KWh battery and the surplus is given to the citizens via two charging stations for e-cars and e -Cycles.