I have written to all schools and to the Diocese of Oxford to encourage them to support Young Climate Warriors. The text of the letter I have sent is below.
The initiative follows my meeting with Katrina Judge, a member of Henley in Transition. The initiative arose from her background in environmental change and carbon offsetting.
"I welcome this initiative. It is very positive and a good way of harnessing young people's action. I am urging schools to take up this initiative and make it available. I have signed up myself!"
"The science is clear - we have little more than a decade to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and it is today's school children who will bear the consequences of inaction. It is exciting to be able to empower children to help combat climate change and let their voices be heard. A growing number of children are choosing to become Young Climate Warriors - sending a clear message that they want to help look after our precious planet."
TEXT OF LETTER SENT TO SCHOOLS
Climate change is an important issue which I believe we all need to take seriously. If we don't keep global warming to less than 1.5 degrees within the next 12 years, the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty will significantly worsen for hundreds of millions of people. I have been pleased to see young people raising their concerns. It is good that they are engaged in key issues affecting them however I cannot condone the recent protests that have led to young people missing school. I wanted instead to write to you about a new and practical initiative.
We all need to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint and I was therefore delighted to learn of the Young Climate Warriors initiative started by a constituent designed to harness the collective power of action in a positive way. When I heard about this I asked to meet with the founder and was so impressed with her work that I offered to make contact with all schools in my constituency to draw attention to the programme – hence this email. I hope that you will find it an exciting initiative, a useful teaching resource and also encourage students to become Climate Warriors themselves. There are resources for all ages and also dedicate resources for schools https://www.youngclimatewarriors.org/youngclimatewarriorsschoolsresource
Essentially climate warriors undertake the same challenge in the same week and by this collective action children together can achieve cumulative impact, and importantly, can enable their voices to be heard by undertaking positive action to combat climate change. Of course, there is nothing to stop people of all ages becoming climate warriors and taking part in weekly actions to reduce their own carbon footprint. I have subscribed!
In the UK we have played a leading role as the world has worked towards a global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Paris Agreement. We have been steadily cutting our emissions whilst growing the economy and have the best per person performance of any other G7 nation. We are firmly on track to meet the 2050 target to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases by 80 per cent. But there is no room for complacency at any level. I would like to see the UK increase its ambition on climate change.
I do hope that you will subscribe to this initiative – please let me know if you do.