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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Help us get our young people climate ready

This opinion piece is about 3 years old

Josephine Querido says the next generation need support to help them battle climate change

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. It affects everything we need to live healthy sustainable lives: from where we live, what eat, our transport and infrastructure and our livelihoods.

As political leaders and climate diplomats meet in Madrid this week at COP25, hoping to secure commitment from all countries to cut their national carbon emissions further to avoid what UN Secretary General António Guterres calls “the point of no return”, it’s also time for us as individuals to step up to the plate.

Over the last year, young people have demanded action to tackle the climate crisis which will impact their future. Tackling climate change is everyone’s responsibility. Yes, we need a fundamental review of how we live and what we can change to live more sustainably. But we also need to support the next generation to be climate ready.

Navigating the science behind climate change and the actions which individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint can be daunting for young people and adults alike. The sheer scale of the challenge that lies in front of us is genuinely frightening and the steps that will be necessary to turn around our carbon emissions are gigantic.

That’s why I’m proud that, with support from the Scottish Government, Keep Scotland Beautiful is taking steps towards ground-breaking environmental education through our Climate Ready Classrooms progamme. Through this, we will reach half of all secondary schools in Scotland, by providing teachers and pupils with hands-on activities which can be used to take action on climate change. But we need to do more than this.

Josephine Querido
Josephine Querido

Now, building on the success of our face-to-face workshops, we need your help to raise money through the Big Give Christmas Challenge to develop an online component which will make this learning accessible to teachers and practitioners, regardless of their location. It will give teachers the tools to feel confident to educate their young people and help them to identify simple steps they can take to reduce carbon emissions in their everyday lives. It will help thousands of young people to actively participate in a transition to a low carbon society.

As a result of the online learning we will be able to reach even more teachers and young people, enabling them to talk confidently as climate change ambassadors and helping them to spread the word about how to take action on climate change in their communities.

The climate crisis demands urgent action by all of us. And helping our young people to take climate action is a vital first step. Young people have spoken out saying climate change is a priority for them. Don’t we owe it to them to give them the skills to make their future a positive, climate ready one? If like me, you believe we should, please support us during the Big Give.

Donations opened this week and close at noon on Tuesday (10 December). Will you help us this Christmas to get our young people climate ready?

Josephine Querido is development manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful. Climate Ready Classrooms is accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project.



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