Young Leaders for Climate Action Fellowship

Group 28

Location: Asia, India


Partnership: Greening Communities


Language: English


Format: Extracurricular Activities


Audience: Policymakers, School Leaders, Teachers

Meet the teacherLinks

Nikhil Sharma

Nikhil is a climate educator currently engaged with ElemenTree Education Foundation. He started his journey as a Petroleum Engineer but later transitioned to education and social development spaces. His exposure to climate impact in marginalised and vulnerable communities inspired him to join Teach For India fellowship in 2018 -a two-year program where he was placed in an under-resourced school. During his fellowship, he focused on student leadership and climate education to empower children for local climate action. He was awarded the Transformational Teaching Fellowship and the InnovatED incubation for his innovative work at intersection of climate and education.

Usefull links related to the Solution

Climate Action Fellowship Information
Young Leaders For Climate Action Fellowship
Curriculum Outline


Through starting an innovative extracurricular climate change fellowship programme Nikhil was able to change the mindset of many children affected by climate change from passive acceptance to a positive can-do attitude that has already had a positive impact on sustainability related issues in the school.

Theory of Change

Students in schools in India are already experiencing the effects of climate change. The project aims to empower students with research and critical thinking skills, preparing them to tackle the issues affecting their schools. Leadership skills are also developed through the fellowship, this is important as the youth of today will become the leaders of tomorrow. Through developing these skills in young people a new generation will mature with the ability to tackle, mitigate and adapt to climate change issues and in the longer term it is hoped they will be able to develop and find a place within the burgeoning green economy.

Approach and Actions

Every six months 30 young change makers, from across the country, are allocated to the fellowship programme. These students are provided with climate education and mentoring in an extracurricular setting. The students then identify climate change related issues affecting their school or city and work on projects that aim to alleviate some of the effects of the issue. A diverse range of projects have so far been undertaken including projects focusing on biodiversity, energy analysis, transport and carbon emissions. Students are provided with the skills and knowledge to empower them to have an impact on the issue they are tackling, this leads to the children becoming solution focused and developing a sense that they can make a positive contribution to environmental issues.


The project has run for two years, and approximately 90 students have completed the fellowship. The biggest impact has been in the change of mindset in the individuals that have taken part in the project and the ripple effect which has been seen through parents’ awareness of the issues involved and through teachers actively seeking to take part in the project. The project is currently run in eight cities but applications for the next cohort have now been received from 17 cities.