As a school student in Kenya, Caroline would walk to school along the Nairobi River, which used to be a thriving environment, full of water and fish. As years went by, the landscape drastically changed, and the booming ecosystem dwindled due to human activity and human-driven climate change. Caroline finished school, went to university, and ended up becoming a scientist engaged in environmental research. She developed an interest in climate change and completed the “Introductory Course on Climate Change” in 2014, which shed light on several questions she had at the time. She grew to believe that one of the best ways to raise awareness of climate change and encourage climate change action is by promoting climate change literacy, particularly among youth.
In this context, Carolin became an advocate for Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) in Kenya and got nominated to the Climate Change Unit under Kenya’s Land Reclamation Department. As an ACE advocate and public official, she represented Kenya as a negotiator in several key climate change conferences, such as COP26 in the United Kingdom, SB56 in Bonn and COP27 in Egypt. As a climate negotiator, she has been involved in some of the most important outcome within ACE, like the Glasgow Work Programme. Back home in Kenya, she is pushing the ACE agenda at home and was responsible for putting together, through a consultative process, the Kenya’s first ACE submission.
This first commitment towards ACE will enable Kenya to further provide youth with the necessary skills to act on the climate crisis. Caroline is optimistic:
“The youth are at the center of this programme and I’m confident that if we let youth lead, we may reach net zero even sooner. I am pushing the ACE agenda.” – Caroline Achieng Ouko, 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion