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Project Overview:

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The climate crisis impacts all people, yet disproportionately affects young people, people of color, and people in poverty, thereby exacerbating existing inequities and limiting opportunities.


Denver Public Schools (DPS) had no plan to address climate change and was not required to follow the City of Denver or Colorado’s climate goals. We, the students, believe that DPS had to pass a resilient policy to ensure the well-being of our generation.


Since February 2021, the student-led organization, Denver Public Schools Students for Climate Action (DPSS4CA), in Colorado, USA, has been determined to achieve what 80+ school districts have done: pass a climate resolution.


We met with other organizations, community members, and stakeholders to draft our policy. We got 4,000+ signatures on our petition and attended public comment–a designated time each month during meetings for anyone to give feedback to the DPS school board. After more than a year of campaigning, DPS passed our one-sentence policy in April 2022, followed by a 100+ page Climate Action Plan (CAP) in December 2022.


The policy and plan are centered around three 2050 “North Star” goals. The North Star goals are broken into six frameworks, each with focus areas, five-year goals, and supporting strategies and actions. 

  1. Environmental Protection: Reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% of the levels that existed in 2010 by 2050.

  2. Economic Prosperity: Reduce natural resource consumption and waste year-over-year.

  3. Social Development: All students and staff are engaged in sustainability by 2050.


Check out this one-pager on specifics on the 5-year goals the DPS Department of Sustainability has committed to achieving.


We launched a Toolkit documenting how we passed our policy to support a movement where every school district in the US has a climate policy. 


As for the future of our group, our new goal is to educate, provide opportunities, and support sustainability clubs in Denver Public Schools to keep on addressing the climate crisis with urgency and effectiveness.


We invite guest speakers to our meetings to learn more about the climate crisis, train students to testify at our state capitol, and host/collaborate in events.

In the future, we want to host four events per year, help students get there school eco-certified, and get schools to have an action-based pledge toward continuously addressing environmental justice. Additionally we want to recruit more students, establish in-person meetings, get funding, and collaborate with other organizations.


DPS Students for Climate Action received the esteemed 2023 President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA), a highly competitive honor bestowed upon only 15-20 recipients out of hundreds of applicants nationwide. They were privileged to visit the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where they were presented with the award and had the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the EPA Administrator. Established in 1971, the PEYA program acknowledges exemplary environmental stewardship projects initiated by youth across all 50 states and U.S. territories, aligning with the ongoing commitment of the President and the EPA to recognize and celebrate young leaders dedicated to safeguarding our natural resources.

Follow us on Instagram @dps_studentsforclimateaction




+1 347 653 8176



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