Initiatives — K12 Climate Action

We will focus on empowering our K-12 schools in taking action on climate change.

K12 Climate Action is building a coalition of people and organizations from across the country who believe our schools will be an essential tool in the fight against climate change and want to support our schools to be a force toward climate action, solutions, and environmental justice.

Serving nearly one in six Americans, K-12 public schools can play a critical role in moving our country towards environmental sustainability. If all the schools in the U.S. were to shift to clean energy, sustainable food use, and non-fossil fuel transportation over the next decade, we will have successfully transitioned one of the largest public sectors impacting the environment. And what makes schools especially impactful is the potential for them to transition to sustainability while educating their students helping prepare youth to confront the climate challenges of the future.

In 2020, we launched a commission to learn about the needs and opportunities for schools to move toward climate action. The commission held a listening tour and developed an action plan to support our K-12 schools to:

  • Mitigate: opportunities for schools to transition to more sustainable operations including energy, transportation, and food use.

  • Adapt: opportunities for schools to adapt and build resilience in preparation for disruptions and negative impacts related to climate change.

  • Educate: opportunities for teaching and learning in formal and informal settings can empower children and youth with the knowledge and skills to build a more sustainable world.

  • Advance Equity: ensure diverse voices are elevated and guide our focus on the needs of under-resourced urban and rural communities and historically underrepresented students and families.

The K12 Climate Action Commission

Commissioner johnking

Sec. John B. King Jr., co-chair

Chancellor, State University of New York (SUNY)

Commissioner christinetoddwhitman

Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, co-chair

President, Whitman Strategy Group

Commissioners naina

Naina Agrawal-Hardin

High School Senior, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Commissioner meganbang

Megan Bang

Professor, Northwestern University

Commissioner vicbarrett

Vic Barrett

Network Organizer, Power Shift

Comissioner carloscurbelo updated1

Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Principal, Vocero LLC

Commissioner lindadarlinghammond resized

Linda Darling-Hammond

President, California State Board of Education

Commissioner debra duardo

Debra Duardo

Superintendent of Schools, Los Angeles County

Commissioners lisahoyos

Lisa Hoyos

Founder, Climate Parents; Director of Climate Strategy, LCV

Commissioner richardknoeppel

Richard Knoeppel

Teacher, Advanced Technologies Academy

Commissioner danlashof

Dan Lashof

U.S. Director, World Resources Institute

Commissioner jackmarkell resized

Gov. Jack Markell

Former Governor of Delaware

Commissioner pedromartinez

Pedro Martinez

Superintendent, San Antonio ISD

Commissioners marcmorial

Marc Morial

President and CEO, National Urban League

Commissioner janetmurguia resized

Janet Murguía

President and CEO, UnidosUS

Commissioners kieraobrien

Kiera O'Brien

Founder and President, Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends

Commissioner nikkipitre new

Nikki Pitre

Executive Director, Center for Native American Youth

Commissioner beckypringle

Becky Pringle

President, National Education Association

Commissioners carlathompson

Carla Thompson Payton

Vice President, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Commissioners secrivera

Sec. Pedro Rivera

President, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Commissioner valerierockefeller resized

Valerie Rockefeller

Board Chair, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Commissioner randiweingarten resized

Randi Weingarten

President, American Federation of Teachers