Trekking Across India to Spur Action on Climate Change

Trekking Across India to
Spur Action on Climate Change

Five students and alums from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, joined by a group of friends from the Indian Youth Climate Network, recently trekked 2,200 miles across India in clean-energy vehicles to increase awareness of projects designed to combat climate change.

The Climate Solutions Road Tour began on January 1 in Chennai and, over five weeks, stopped in 15 major cities, including Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune and Udaipur, as well as in numerous towns and villages. The group traveled in three solar-integrated Reva electric cars, a CleanStar sustainable biofuel truck, a van powered by used cooking oil and a solar-powered minivan.

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Tom Friedman of The New York Times mentioned the Climate Solutions Road Tour in his column on February 14. He is seen here with Alexis Ringwald ’06, Deepa Gupta and Caroline Howe ’07.

Along the way, they found biogas plants powering homes and reducing carbon emissions and indoor air pollution; organic farms in central India, where rainfall has become increasingly sporadic; green buildings; smart microgrids; water harvesting systems; new forms of environmental education; solar cookers; and clean-tech entrepreneur networks.

“The project was created in the belief that we have a chance to create a new vision for the world. We seek new ways to solve the problem of climate change through ways that already exist and that depend on nothing less than our intentions and action,” said Alexis Ringwald ’06, the tour’s co-organizer with Caroline Howe ’07. They were joined by Bidisha Banerjee ’10, Alark Saxena ’07 and incoming F&ES student, Kartikeya Singh ’11.

The journey ended on February 4 in New Delhi, where they met India’s President Pratibha Patil; Abhinav Bhindra, an Olympian and gold medal winner; Kapil Sibal, Minister of Science and Technology; Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and recently appointed director of the new Yale Climate and Energy Institute; Larry Brilliant, chief philanthropy evangelist at Google; and Thomas Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times.

For more information about the Climate Solutions Road Tour, visit


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