Fight for the planet. Choose Science!

COP 25

Madrid / 06 December 2019

"You can do something. You can choose to be the one that will make change happen. Choose STEM.” Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa, was clear and straight to the point with youths during the presentation of the KPMG report ‘The socioeconomic impacts of wind energy in the context of the energy transition’, on October 11. This call to action has a great concern behind it: the shortage of students enrolled in studies related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

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The figures highlight the problem. For example, in Spain, while the number of new university students has stabilized, it has not stopped decreasing in recent years in scientific and technical degrees. According to statistics published by the Ministry of Education, between 2011-2012 and 2014-2015, students in Engineering and Architecture dropped by more than 57,000 (17.2% less). In addition, due to the adjustment with demand, the offer of places has fallen by 8.3% between the 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 courses, while new students enrolling barely varied (0.4%).

The renewable energy industry, the best positioned to drive change, could run out of the talent needed to fight the climate emergency. "We all have the same concern: how to use the knowledge and the instruments we have right now to start addressing climate change, because there is real urgency," Tacke insisted during the presentation of the study.

Following this call to action, the student movement and the example of other organizations, Siemens Gamesa has launched the #IChooseScience initiative to raise awareness among young people about the importance of studying science, increasing talent in the sector and encouraging investment in R&D.

Choose Science to protect the planet

Administrations, associations, companies and organizations around the world have the task and the duty to lead the change. Increasing R&D investment, reducing the carbon footprint, eliminating the use of polluting gases or launching awareness campaigns; it doesn't matter how, but it's time to get on the side of the planet and young people.

And what better way to do it than by sharing the personal reasons and motivations for which wind industry professionals decided choose for renewables. The reasons are diverse, including defending the planet: "The world we live in is beautiful. A masterpiece! I chose science because there is no better way to appreciate it than to protect it, and to protect it you need to speak its language: Science!" stated Marco Salviato in the campaign. Or looking for solutions to improve our lives, as is the case of Adriana Urda: "I chose science because I like to solve technical problems by finding solutions that can improve our lives."

Working and at the same time saving the planet is within the reach of future generations. Our planet needs, agronomists, biotechnologists, agricultural scientists and urban planners, who face titanic challenges such as designing cities that pollute less, generating environmentally friendly production techniques or developing biodegradable or biofuel products. The message is clear: the number of renewable energy specialists must increase, and we need to have the brightest minds to solve the climate emergency. Choose Science!

Young people are the key to change
It has been students who have transformed the debate around the environmental crisis, giving it greater urgency and dynamism, but they are also the key to change. Greta Thunberg lit the fuse. Tired of politicians unconcerned about the future of the planet, the young Swedish student began her own revolution outside her country's parliament building to shout "enough". Millions of students around the world followed her. First it was a timid movement, but the #FridaysForFuture gained strength and on March 15, 2019 it showed muscle: young people took to the streets calling for a better future for Mother Earth from politicians.

A new global climate strike on September 27 marked the path of no return. We were asleep and now we have woken up. In Madrid alone, where COP 25 is currently being held, more than 20,000 people demonstrated. There were calls in more than 150 countries. Montreal, New York, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Milan are examples of large cities with squares and streets crowded by committed young people demanding immediate measures from governments to curb climate change.


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