Annika Weber, 18, has been involved in environmental activism since the third grade. She was on her elementary school’s “green team,” then, in middle school, worked on setting up an urban farm, and in high school was part of two youth-led climate justice organizations. But as burnout among youth activists became widespread, Annika saw the need for a group that coordinated youth passion with adult experience for sustained, tangible results. So in early 2021, she co-founded the Northwest School Carbon Neutrality Task Force, a group of students, parents, and faculty who, over the course of a year, researched how her high school could become carbon neutral by 2030.
The task force surveyed the community, collected baseline data, and prepared a report, which it presented to school leadership last winter. Her school is now in the final process of adopting the task force’s recommendations — if it does, it would be the first 6-12 school in the country to set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 without the use of carbon offsets.