Young people from four continents share concerns and solutions at the Climate
Change Exchange

Ontario Science Centre and British Council host two-day live video conference with participants from four Olympic host cities

TORONTO, March 10 /CNW/ - Today's youth must push politicians and business leaders to change attitudes and take action on climate change issues. A lack of leadership was one of the overriding messages at the Climate Change Exchange, a two-day live video dialogue at the Ontario Science Centre March 9 and 10. The Exchange was a collaboration between the Science Centre and the British Council, sponsors of the event.

Panellists in Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, London and Moscow engaged in a thought-provoking discussion, describing the biggest challenges facing their respective countries and their ideas on how to tackle them. Members of live audiences at each site challenged panellists with questions, and proposed some of their own solutions. Hundreds more watched the sessions live online.

High school student and human rights activist Nishin Nathwani of Fergus, Ontario moderated the event from Toronto. "The fact that youth were given a platform in an international venue to show their insights and expertise is an acknowledgement that youth are going to spearhead change for the future," said the 17-year-old.

Participants also identified the need to shift public attitudes away from unbridled consumerism and development towards an enhanced appreciation of nature and the environment.

"To find a way forward we need to look beyond the science," said Martin Rose, director, British Council Canada. "These young leaders will help set the cultural climate in which decisions will be made in the future."

While the young activists agreed that even small efforts such as conserving water at home and volunteering in local programs are important, they stressed that it will take larger-scale efforts, legally-binding regulations and deep societal changes to make significant steps towards reducing carbon emissions.

The electronic forum linked countries on four continents with different climates and socio-economic conditions, each hosting Olympic Games this decade.

"The remarkable young people we have heard from over the past two days are true agents of change," said Lesley Lewis, CEO, Ontario Science Centre. "They are responding to a real global environmental challenge and challenging us to develop solutions."

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organization to promote education and cultural relations. We value and promote equal opportunity and diversity Nous respectons et favorisons l'égalité des chances et la diversité.

About the Ontario Science Centre

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The Ontario Science Centre opened on September 26, 1969, a global pioneer of the concept of an interactive science museum. Since then, well over 44 million visitors have passed through its doors. It is a model for over 2,000 science centres built since its inception around the world.

The Ontario Science Centre uses science as the lens to inspire and actively engage people in new ways of seeing, understanding and thinking about themselves and the world around them. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information, visit www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca or call our box office at 416-696-1000.

SOURCE Ontario Science Centre

For further information: For further information: Margret Brady Nankivell, Programmes & Communications Manager, British Council, Tel: (613) 364-6237 or Cell: (613) 301-5922, margret.brady@britishcouncil.org; Anna Relyea, Associate Director, Strategic Communications, Ontario Science Centre, Tel: (416) 696-3273, Cell: (416) 668-1967, anna.relyea@osc.on.ca


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