Minerva Learning Trust
6th November 2020

Youth Climate Summit Blog

Let’s not forget about the climate!


When we look back at 2020, the Covid pandemic will undoubtedly be at the forefront of any summary of the year. At a time when news headlines are dominated by lockdowns, job losses and the US election, it is vital that we do not lose track of other issues which will shape and affect our future. Politicians come and go; the pandemic will pass (eventually) … but we only have one Planet Earth.

It is now over 18 months since young people in the UK and across the world took part in as series of Global Climate strikes – protests inspired by Greta Thunberg – aimed at alerting governments around the world to the strength of feeling and passion of young people about the state of the environment in a world they will one day inherit. The number of students involved and the passion they showed brought real commitments to climate change … yet 18 months on have we forgotten the pledges and promises made? Was it just well intentioned, wishful thinking?

This is why the 2020 Youth Climate Summit is so important … climate change and environmental issues haven’t gone away … but there is a danger that the focus shifts away from these issues to something else. The Youth Climate Summit is aimed at reminding young people and teachers of the need for action to address the potential crisis of climate change still facing the world.

The Youth Climate Summit does not just focus on Climate Change, although that is a critical part. It focuses on building a sustainable future for all people by addressing the most pressing environmental issues:

· Nature, Oceans & Water (biodiversity, habitats, conservation, water, oceans)

· Pollution, Waste & Travel (clean transport, clean energy, plastic pollution, air pollution, eco-tourism, circular economy)

· Food, Farming & Forests (meat industry, food waste, palm oil, deforestation, rainforests, agriculture, adaptation)

· Fashion & Consumption (fashion, electronic, big business, sustainable business)

At High Storrs we pride ourselves that the education we offer is in the broadest possible sense of the word. And educating young people about Environmental Issues is a key part of what we do. Students are taught about the environment and climate change in Geography, Science and PSHCEE. In Geography, the Y7 curriculum includes ‘Why is the weather wild?’ and ‘My impact on the world’. Natural and human causes of climate change are key features of both A Level and GGCSE Geography too. In Science, the curriculum explores energy, the chemistry of the atmosphere, ecology and more.

To support the Youth Climate Summit, High Storrs students will engage in form group chats, and in Geography lessons, Y7&8 students will explore how they can personally make a difference to the future of the planet.

In the most challenging of circumstances, our students, parents and staff have shown great resilience and ingenuity to continue with life as close to normal as possible. But the current situation will pass … and it is essential that our students are able to build a safer and cleaner world for themselves in the future.

Andrew Walton-McBain