Release 09-40
April 28, 2009

    Leo Kay
Samantha Yale
(British Council) 202-588-7838
British Council, Air Resources Board Announce 2009 California Climate Champions
Students to Raise Awareness of Climate Change and Engage Communities in Action

SACRAMENTO: Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols and the British Council introduced California’s 10 high school “Climate Champions” today on the steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento. As the U.S. representatives of British Council’s International Climate Champions, the members of the California program will educate peers and local communities on the impacts of climate change and will encourage individual action to address the causes of climate change.

Each Climate Champion will undertake an individual project over the next year to tackle the causes of climate change and engage peers in taking action:

“This bright new group of champions will build on the success of last year’s program as they continue to work together to inspire all Californians to tackle climate change,” Nichols said. “As ARB moves forward with implementing California’s climate change goals, these champions will help us by advancing innovative solutions for what lies ahead of us, and change their future for the better.”

ARB and British Council staff selected the champions based on their dedication to tackling climate change, their communication skills and their commitment to undertaking greenhouse gas-reducing projects in their schools and communities.

“The British Council and our partner, the California Air Resources Board, are delighted to welcome the 2009 California Climate Champions. I look forward to witnessing the contributions that each of these extraordinary young people will make over the coming year as they build on the enthusiasm and success of the 2008 California Climate Champions,” said Sharon Memis, director of the British Council United States.

Now in its second year, the California Climate Champions program welcomes the new champions who will join a peer network of 15 California Climate Champions from 2008.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHAMPIONS: British Council International Climate Champions range in age from 11 to 35 years, varying by the country in which the program operates. In 2008 the program grew to encompass more than 800 International Climate Champions in 29 countries, and in 2009 there are plans to expand to 60 countries across the globe, recruiting over 1,300 young people who are passionate about and committed to taking action on climate change. British Council and its partners help these young people develop and implement projects within their local communities that raise awareness of climate change, limit its impact and reduce carbon emissions.

ABOUT ARB: Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 in September 2006, requiring ARB to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, roughly a 25 percent decrease. ARB’s Board adopted the AB32 “scoping plan” in December 2008, which identified a comprehensive set of strategies to achieve these ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals.

ABOUT THE BRITISH COUNCIL: The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international non-profit organization for cultural relations and education opportunities. In the US, we increase recognition of the wide range of learning opportunities available in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and facilitate educational cooperation between the US and UK. Through transatlantic artistic partnerships, we introduce the American public to high-quality, groundbreaking creative achievements from the UK, and our science programs build networks that draw upon the UK's innovation in climate change and other disciplines. We also develop initiatives that give a voice to the next generation of leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, encouraging them to work together to explore solutions to current and future global issues. To learn more, please visit

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The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.