Sixth Form Climate Change Conference ReportKaren Reed
On 19th November 2019, Sixth form students from ten schools across Wiltshire met at Devizes School to discuss issues surrounding Climate Change and how we can work together to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change. St John’s was represented by Holly McKay, Oesa Astley, Nicole Franklin and Fabian Avis, as well as Mr Friend part chairing the meeting.
All points were discussed by the students, with the two teachers chairing the meeting merely facilitating the process.
Of the 29 students in attendance there was a clear agreement that there is a climate emergency, that it will affect them in their lifetime and that there is individual responsibility for climate change. Students discussed reasons why others might not recognise the situation as a Climate Emergency as well as discussing the merits of terms such as Climate Change, Climate Crisis and Climate Emergency.
Discussion then took place on mitigation, including carbon tax and a green industrial revolution, the need for a significant reduction in consumption rather than just recycling as well as putting pressure on corporations, councils and governments.
The merits of climate strikes were discussed with a general consensus that local climate strikes could be effective but that a collective Wiltshire climate strike would gain more media attention and so have a greater effect. It was also felt that strikes would also need to be backed up with action. There was also an agreement on the need to use social media to spread awareness, along with attending local area board meetings.
The group finished by proposing and voting on ideas for future collaboration. These included:
- Increase 6th form leadership collaboration and meetings. The aim of this would be to take information back to schools to spread awareness and action.
- To make use of the social media platform already in existence S.E.A.positivechange (Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.e.a.positivechange/ ). This could be used to organise meetings and to collaborate as an effective collective. One willing representative from each school to have the password to be able share on the page.
- Draft of an email to be used by all schools in Wiltshire to put pressure on local MP. This will be created by RWBA and then shared/edited to be used by all schools to send unanimously en masse.
- Wiltshire Wide Food Initiative
- Assessing sourcing of food in schools and whether it can be made local
- Try and gain sponsorship from local farms to provide schools with produce.
- School Clothes Swap – Donation of clothes in school that can then be swapped in order to increase re-use of clothes and a reduction in fast fashion consumption.
- Climate emergency based education (either within the curriculum in general or through collapsed timetable days
Environmental Change Leader