In late 2016, following the November elections, Anne Lee and a cohort of students in Sammamish, WA realized that the incoming Trump administration was unlikely to follow through with US commitments under the Paris Climate Accord, an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. Lee and her peers decided that if elected leaders wouldn’t take action, they would. She soon co-founded Schools Under 2C, a student-led organization that aims to raise awareness of climate change among students in the US and abroad.
So far, Schools Under 2C — which has 80 student members — has reduced the monthly carbon footprint of Lee’s Tesla STEM high school by more than two tons. Lee has also implemented a compost program, lighting reduction plan, and use of a transportation incentive mobile app that encourages students to choose cleaner ways of commuting to school. Now Schools Under 2C is challenging other schools across the world to do the same, and 30 schools have already taken a pledge to join the Under 2C challenge.