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On road, battling climate change

Caroline Howe and Alexis Ringwald are responsible for orchestrating the Indian Climate Solutions Road Tour, which was flagged off in Chennai on January 3 and will conclude in Delhi on February 5, reports Purva Mehra.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2009 01:55 IST
Purva Mehra

It was their overwhelming passion for climate conservation that brought Caroline Howe (23), a Mechanical and Environmental Engineering graduate from Yale College, and Alexis Ringwald (25), a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University, together in India.

The duo is responsible for orchestrating the Indian Climate Solutions Road Tour, which was flagged off in Chennai on January 3 and will conclude in Delhi on February 5. The team will cover 3,500 km, visiting prominent college and university campuses in the cities they will pass through and make rural visits to document prevailing climate solutions in India.

Kartikeya Singh, the ounded and setup a solar company, Valence Energy, in New Delhi. Her first project with her solar company looks at solar luxury homes in Hyderabad.

The 20-member road trip team, including solar-powered American band, Solar Punch, was commissioned three solar plug-in electric Reva vehicles by the CEO of Reva, Chetan Maini, who believed theirs was a worthy cause.

This young group of environmental activists completed 2,000-km on driving into Mumbai on Saturday in their six alternatively fuelled vehicles.

“Ours is a dual purpose. The first is to document solutions to climate change in India. We have already witnessed biogas installations in rural India, rainwater harvesting in Chennai, organic farming in Anantapur and luxury solar homes in Hyderabad. Our second purpose involves climate leadership trainings, in which we train students and young professionals to take leadership on climate solutions in their own campuses and communities,” said Ringwald, who has interned with Nobel laureate Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri for her research on renewable energy trends in India.

Over the week, the group will meet youth from several city colleges, take an eco-tour of the city and host a Climate Leadership Training session at Mumbai University’s Fort campus.

Deeply involved in the climate youth movement in India, Howe, the climate solutions co-ordinator, has also been tracking the emerging global youth movements to create a network to share ideas and solutions globally. “Young people in India are already aware of climate change. It's now time for action. The tour intends to create, communicate and celebrate climate solutions.”

Members of IYCN in different cities have helped the road tour team in setting up discussions, leadership summits and events.

“I’ve realised that the youth in India are angry about the climate crisis but don’t know how to act on this anger,” said 22-year-old Ruchi Jain, the project co-ordinator in Mumbai.