3rd February 2020
Writing: Noami Kaplunov (Year 13)
Photography: Mr Atkinson
Editing: Amal Shakir (Year 11)
Passionate pupils from schools all around Buckinghamshire convened last Monday at DCGS for the Climate Emergency Conference, an event with an aim to inspire change in schools, and allow student bodies to brainstorm ideas to design approaches to issues such as food waste, electricity usage, and recycling around school.
The conference began with a lecture from Professor Smith, Director of the Royal Geographical Society. This was a highly insightful overview of climate change from the geographical perspective: its impact on both humans and physical systems, and the need to balance industrial development with the hazards and risks associated with increased carbon emissions. Professor Smith also emphasised the importance of carefully considered systematic changes to combat the issue - carbon taxes, sustainable development goals, and more support for new climate research - to ensure a fairer, more equal society.
The participants then continued the theme of the day, sparking discussions over difficult questions such as, ‘Do you think climate change will force us to abandon our planet?’, and ‘Do you think even the most disruptive climate protests are justified?’. Pupils were also presented with a host of tasks to help consider their own greenhouse gas emissions on a typical day, and the choices they make which could be made more environmentally friendly. The day culminated in the development of ‘Project Plans’ - ideas for tackling specific areas of the school community which required change to more sustainable and less environmentally damaging alternatives, which could be taken back to headteachers and governors.
Consisting of talks from professionals, engaging interactive tasks, and plenty of opportunities to share insight and knowledge with other participants, the well organised day greatly benefitted the enthusiastic lower-school and sixth form eco-warriors. One student from CGS said 'It was great fun and it really helped with our project.' Many thanks are due to Olivia and Tom from The Economist Educational Foundation for overseeing the event and organising the group activities.
All DCGS students interested in making an impact around school and contributing to new initiatives are invited to participate in the Eco Team, which meets in T32 on Thursday lunchtimes.