In March of 2022, K12 Climate Action leaders spoke at the SXSW EDU Conference & Festival about Advancing Climate Action in Schools. The SXSW EDU Conference & Festival cultivates and empowers a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning and is a component of the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) family of conferences and festivals.

Secretary John King, Maya Green, and Randi Weingarten discussed with Laura Schifter how addressing climate change can start with the education system. With nearly 100,000 public schools across the country, America’s schools are among the largest consumers of energy in the public sector, operate the largest mass transit fleet, sit on over 2 million acres of land, and serve over 7 billion meals each year. Decarbonizing our schools also creates opportunities for the over 50 million students in school to learn about climate solutions firsthand, better preparing the rising generation to advance a sustainable future.

“I think that a multifaceted approach of teaching about climate change and climate action in meaningful ways in the classroom, but then also pairing that with schools physically and materially addressing climate change is really important so that students don't feel isolated in what seems to be this huge issue,” said Maya Green, Organizing Director at Student Voice.


  • Secretary John B. King, Jr., former US Education Secretary & K12 Climate Action Co-Chair

  • Maya Green, Organizing Director at Student Voice

  • Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers

  • Moderator: Laura Schifter, Senior Fellow with K12 Climate Action