Photo: Janine Müller, City of Haan (DE)

Press release | 08.11.2021

UN Climate Secretariat recognises children’s dedication to act on climate

More than 350,000 children set example with the Climate Alliance Green Footprints campaign

Frankfurt am Main/ Glasgow, 8 November 2021. A Climate Alliance delegation officially handed over the results of the Green Footprints campaign to UN Climate Secretariat Head Patricia Espinosa today at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow. As COP26 was postponed in 2020, the delegation presented the collected green footprints for both this year and last.

“I'm extremely grateful for these contributions,” commented Espinosa on the children’s efforts. “This is very much in fact about their future, about the world they will be living in... I would ask the children to continue and to not give up,” she said, vowing to bring the children’s message to world leaders.

More than 350,000 children from nine European countries took part in the Green Footprints campaign over the last two years. Together, they collected more than five million green footprints by choosing climate-friendly transport, eating local and organic food and saving energy. Many educational institutions were forced to get creative in order to carry out the campaign despite the pandemic. Some teachers spontaneously cut campaign materials apart so that each child could work from home and when trips to school were far and few between, the children logged their daily lockdown walks instead.

"We are happy that so many children and educational institutions from across Europe have been part of the Green Footprints campaign over the last two years. It seems Corona made them work even harder for the good of the climate – let’s hope the politicians do the same," commented Thomas Brose, Climate Alliance Executive Director, during this year’s official handover.

Since 2002, Climate Alliance's Green Footprints campaign has been inviting children from across Europe to collect green footprints for the climate. Together with their classmates, children learn more about sustainable lifestyles and set a strong example for climate action. The campaign results are traditionally presented to the participants of the annual UN Climate Summits.



Sarah Mekjian, Climate Alliance
Communications Director
T. +49 69 7171 39 -20

Claudia Schury
, Climate Alliance
Green Footprints Project Head
T. +49 69 7171 39 -22

Since 2002, Climate Alliance’s Green Footprints has been helping children across Europe learn about the influ-ences of their daily actions on the climate and encouraging them to become role models for both their parents and climate politicians. During at least a one week period, children in participating classes collect so-called ‘green footprints’ for every sustainable trip completed via public transport, bike or foot as well as for other environmen-tally-friendly habits such as sustainable nutrition. These footprints are presented to the participants and politi-cians at the UNFCCC’s annual Climate Conferences.

For over 30 years, Climate Alliance member municipalities have been acting in partnership with indigenous rainforest peoples for the benefit of the global climate. With more than 1,800 members spread across 27 European countries, Climate Alliance is Europe's largest city network dedicated to comprehensive and equitable climate action. Each member city, town and district has committed itself to continually cut greenhouse gas emissions, aiming for a 95% reduction by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels) in line with IPCC recommendations. Recognising the impact our lifestyles can have on the world's most vulnerable people and places, Climate Alliance pairs local action with global responsibility.