Luxembourg Schools Join Global Net-Zero Signing Ceremony At US Embassy 

US Ambassador Tom Barret and Minister Serge Wilmes listened to students from three Luxembourg schools during the Global Net-Zero Government Initiative signing ceremony at the US Embassy on 21 February. (© NG)

US Ambassador to Luxembourg Tom Barrett and Luxembourg’s environment and biodiversity minister Serge Wilmes jointly signed the Global Net-Zero Government Initiative on 21 February. An opportunity for three Luxembourg school groups to share their visions for a more sustainable world as well. 

The Global Net-Zero initiative, launched by the US during the UN COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2022, invites governments to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. 

The local signing event, hosted at the US Embassy in Luxembourg, also provided an opportunity for student representatives from the International School of Luxembourg (ISL), St George’s International School and Lycée Robert-Schuman Luxembourg not only to urge leaders to step up and take action but also to showcase sustainable efforts each of the schools are taking on a smaller scale. 

Ambassador Barrett joked with the students that he was “really sorry you have to miss class. But the fact that you were willing to make the sacrifice to come here [is] appreciated.” 

Positive energy buildings and PVs

The ambassador outlined the pivotal role national governments play in the net-zero target, adding that Luxembourg “is leading by example, along with the US. The US commitment to tackling the climate crisis is resolute. Within hours of taking office, President [Joseph] Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement and, soon after that, he convened world leaders, including the largest greenhouse gas emitters, for the Leaders Summit.”

Minister Wilmes added that goals for Luxembourg are lofty ones, but that the Luxembourg government “will, as fast as possible, increase all public buildings with all PV systems and further accelerate their energy renovation in order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality for all public administrations by 2030, at latest.” He highlighted that the state will go even further with positive energy buildings, making the best use of PV installations, among other measures. 

ISL, St George’s, and Robert Schuman join efforts

Representatives from the three schools then shared their concepts for achieving net-zero ambitions. ISL students, for instance, focused on the role its generation will play in solving problems creatively with innovative technologies.

St George’s students described the setting up of their school’s climate pledge, which has three goals: net-zero emissions by 2030, protecting and supporting biodiversity and to be smart with resources. They highlighted actions taken, such as emissions reduction by 16% since 2021, once-weekly plant-based meals in the canteen, and activities achieved by their Eco-Agent club, which has made bird feeders and planted trees, for example. 

Meanwhile, the Lycée Robert Schuman also has plenty of reasons to be proud: they highlighted diversity in the untapped potential therein. The school’s sustainability work culminated in student participation at the last COP 28 in Dubai.

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