All high-level decisions – from leadership at school, to the choice of Prime Minister, to country pledges at the UN – have an impact on the urgency of our response to the climate crisis right now, and profoundly affect how we will live in the future. The core motivation for our schools’ UN-style COP resource is to meaningfully engage as many young people as possible with these decisions by:
• Bringing to life critical thinking about the global impact of the climate crisis, with sharp focus on lived experience of climate change, especially for young people and the most vulnerable around the world
• Providing a route for secondary students to engage with COP26 and COP27
• Being as accessible and relevant as possible particularly for schools reopening after lockdown.
Timed with COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, ICN ran 5 regional climate conferences with Local Council support in Bristol, Gloucestershire, London, Reading and Solihull. Young people’ views were heard as they had direct access to local decision-makers, here with the Leader of Solihull Council and explore their feedback here.
Many more young people used the resource materials in other COP26 conferences, including whole year groups’ classroom conferences led by an I-CAN project teacher and a schools’ sustainability network conference in Avon, involving another I-CAN project teacher.
The conferences contributed to a significant year of action across like-minded civil society organisations with one aim: to direct as much focus as possible on the decisions being made by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP).
BBC South Today coverage in Reading Conference