Wallace Hall Pupils attend COP26.
On Friday 5th November Mrs Belford, LfS and Eco Co-ordinator at Wallace Hall ELC, Primary and Academy, accompanied Finn Fletcher and Logan Fry, two members of our Wallace Hall senior Eco committee, to COP26 in Glasgow. The school had been invited to the special launch event of Fuel Change hosted by the Scottish Government in the Lighthouse in the centre of the city. Wallace Hall is one of around 15 pilot schools in Scotland who are working with the Fuel Change, a social enterprise that taps into the potential of youth to help fight the climate crisis. They aim to unleash the underestimated skills and energy of Scotland’s next generation by partnering with educators and businesses to help solve their carbon challenges.
The event was truly inspiring featuring ideas from Fuel Change Challenges which are now being implemented - electric forklifts at a timber plant; using waste heat from whisky distilleries; the complete re-invention of Grangemouth in the production of Hydrogen fuel; a reward app to encourage people to use public transport and a marketing campaign for slow fashion. Just a small selection of amazing ideas young people have had to move us towards a Carbon Neutral future.
As well as the Challenges, Fuel Change has a Foundations programme for schools which provides a holistic approach to climate change literacy within the curriculum, the core being embedded into all areas of the curriculum so that all pupils have access to this education. This is what Wallace Hall is going to do at our school as a starting point. Please visit the Fuel Change website https://fuelchange.co.uk/foundations/ for more information.
There was an opportunity for our students to meet Michael Matheson MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport. They asked him some questions and he revealed in his closing speech £500,000 funding to expand upon the work being done by Fuel Change as it supports the Scottish target of Net Zero by 2045.
Following this amazing opportunity Mrs Belford, Finn and Logan headed out to the streets of Glasgow to join the Youth Climate Justice March from Kelvingrove Park to George Square.
This march of around 25,000 young people was organised by Fridays for Future Scotland and included members of indigenous communities from the Global South or MAPA regions most affected by climate change as well as many inspiring young climate activists including Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate.
In George Square Mrs Belford, Finn and Logan listened to some of these activists and heard first-hand accounts of how our carbon emissions and consumerist lifestyle in the Global North are directly affecting the lives of people in West Africa, Papua New Guinea and Brazil. They also heard from campaigners from Fridays for Future in Afghanistan and people putting their life at risk to stand up for the environment.
Mrs Belford said: “Global citizenship and Social Justice were tangible qualities of the day, with the pupils talking with peers from all over the world and I was impressed to see the consideration of homeless people in the city- donations of money and food never failed to be given. I was extremely proud of them.
“We shall share our experiences back at school this month within Eco Committee assemblies.
“There is so much hope in our next generation to tackle the Climate crisis and we want to support this with a solid foundation in carbon literacy and awareness of how they can contribute.”