Training Durham’s future leaders on climate change
FACE IT is designed to enthuse young people and equip them with skills for leadership on climate change in their schools, their local community and in their future working lives. FACE IT targets students in the catchment area of Durham City, UK, providing them with knowledge on mitigation and adaptation to climate change, giving confidence to young people to influence behaviour at home, in school and in the local community. Climate Durham works with children, teachers, community representatives and partner agencies with similar objectives, developing a tailor-made climate change project within each school. By co-creating stories and solutions in this way, it is hoped that young people will question mainstream lifestyles and connect their own actions with the future of the planet.
FACE IT has established environmental groups in six of the eight secondary schools in Durham. They hold regular meetings with these groups and share information that enables each school to progress ideas and increase understanding of the problems. All schools have been encouraged to present a project to Climate Durham. For instance, one school is buying a giant size electricity monitor, so that they can see at a glance their energy usage, can audit easily and raise awareness across the whole school of energy consumption. Another school has decided to run an awareness campaign in each year group, setting up competitions on energy, waste, transport.
Climate Durham, together with the local MP, organised a visit from Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to Durham. At this event, schools working were able to present to the Minister, highlighting the issues they are facing. This was a brilliant opportunity for the students to engage in public debate.
Climate Durham in collaboration with Fairtrade Durham, organised an Alternative Fashion Show, which is being run by environment team students.
Climate Durham has organised a video conference to a panel in Copenhagen where the Environment Teams from secondary schools will be presenting a statement about how they would like to see life in Durham in a low carbon future. They will also be challenging the panel to sign meaningful agreements at the climate change summit.
Together, these different activities have raised the profile of climate change amongst the school children of Durham.