Recently, I was absolutely delighted to be asked by Just Ideas to support a Climate Change Conference specifically for secondary school pupils in Solihull. The conference aimed to replicate COP27, with each school representing a country of the United Nations and the pupils taking on the role of government negotiators.
It was amazing to see how well the pupils had prepared for the conference by using the resources provided by the Interclimate Network (https://interclimate.org/climate-conferences/). The pupils delivered their opening speeches which highlighted the impacts of Climate Change on their country and then outlined their commitments to cutting their emissions. As would be in the case at the actual conference, there were several votes which the pupils were asked to consider. It was sobering to see the pupils vote unanimously that there is not enough being done globally to cut carbon emissions and later, for the majority to commit to doing more to tackle the climate emergency.
The pupils showed a solid understanding of the most pressing issues, with several of the more developed countries offering both financial and technological support to the smaller, developing nations. The intelligence and maturity of the pupils made me wish that it was them representing us at the real negotiating table – and perhaps one day, it will be?!
During the next part of the morning, the pupils were given the opportunity to present questions to Solihull’s Councillor, Ian Courts. Again, I was blown away by the pupils’ passion and enthusiasm for the issues as they bombarded Councillor Courts with more questions than he had time to answer! Each of the schools were asked for one “take-away” – just one thing that they would take from the conference and all of them were making plans for their schools to start making a real difference.
It was an absolute honour to be in attendance and I’m hoping I’ll be lucky enough to be involved in future conferences. If you are a school or know of one who would like to be involved in a future conference, please visit https://interclimate.org/ or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.