Climate Change Challenge 2007
Engaging young people in active citizenship to respond to the threat of climate change
Project duration: October 2007 to December 2006
The South West of England has been at the forefront in setting targets for renewable electricity and is developing a sustainable energy strategy that will consider both energy supply and energy use. Each local authority in the region is developing its own policy position and strategy for action. The Climate Change Challenge sought to engage young people with these issues, linking to the elements of the National Curriculum associated with active citizenship.
The aim was to develop an approach in four secondary schools across Bristol and South Gloucestershire that enabled young people to:
- investigate and challenge how their local authority has responded to the commitments made by the UK Government to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and address the impacts of climate change
- enhance their own knowledge and understanding of climate change and sustainable energy issues
- Develop skills that will empower them to engage and participate in local democratic processes
The Climate Change Challenge involved young people from each participating school’s sixth form.
Research involved site visits and interviewing experts in the fields of energy, sustainability and climate.
It culminated in a Conference held at Bristol’s Council House on 30 November 2007. Students had the opportunity to present findings and recommendations to local authority representatives, officers and councillors, other schools in the area and representatives from regional bodies and national government.
Students were asked to consider key questions/themes and focus on one of them for their presentation at the conference:
- How is your local authority responding to the UK Government’s commitment to addressing climate change as outlined within the recent Energy White Paper
- What is the potential in your local authority area to contribute to the recently adopted target for developing renewable electricity by 2010 within the former Avon area?
- What can you, your family, your school and your community do to play a greater part in responding to the challenge posed by the threat of climate change?