Young People and Climate Change
Climate change was once considered a problem to be dealt with in the distant future, by our grandchildren or even great-great grandchildren. Just a decade ago the state of the environment was a fringe discussion; the world seemed so resilient to the strain our population placed upon it. Yet now with rising sea levels, the threat of some species becoming extinct, food shortages and a looming energy crisis, it has become very apparent that current generations that must face up to these issues.
Here are some examples of young people working together and getting involved with the key issues of climate change:
Unite For Climate – Youth Powered Solutions
Allows young people to join current and up-and-coming campaigns and view related media files.
United Nations Environment Programme – Youth Activities Around the World
Allows young environmentalists to share their experiences and publish their work relating to the environment.
UK Youth Climate Coalition
An environmental movement begun by UK students that now has young members from all around the world. The organisation updates young people via social networking sites.
Youth Food Movement
A network of young farmers, cooks, artisans, activists and students that are actively changing the future of food and farming to make the industry fairer and more sustainable.
Useful resources for teachers and students
There are plenty of online resources to help schools make their own contribution towards tackling climate change. The following websites provide easy-to-follow information and simple activities to help students understand the most pressing problems facing our planet and how best to help safeguard its future:
Friends of the Earth
Contains activities, case studies and resources for both educators and students.
Includes animated guides to climate change, as well as related news stories and quizzes.
Young People's Trust for the Environment
A charity providing free environmental information and services for schools and young people.
The following websites show that making your school more environmentally friendly need not be expensive or time consuming. Just a few simple changes to daily activities can mean significant benefits for the planet and future generations:
Introduces schools to a simple seven-step process which helps them to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity.
One Planet Schools
The World Wildlife fund provides information, encouragement and inspiration for schools working to put sustainability issues at the heart of school life.
Government advice on preparing schools for a sustainable future.
Cool it Schools
Explore climate change through art, science, creative writing, music, drama and technology, then document and upload the results into your very own Cool it Schools Showcase.
The Royal Academy has worked closely with other organisations for this exhibition, which have the following useful websites:
Information about how the Trust cares for the nation’s natural and historic environment, and why the Trust views climate change as a serious threat to the landscapes and properties it cares for.
Media partner for the exhibition and forerunner for the ambitious ‘10:10’ project to unite every sector of British society in achieving a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010.