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Climate crisis: South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis says ‘we must put our faith in younger generations’ at schools’ conference
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Climate crisis: South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis says ‘we must put our faith in younger generations’ at schools’ conference


Dan Jarvis was the mayor of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and gave a keynote address at the Schools’ Climate Conference.

Thousands of pupils from primary and secondary schools across the region came together for a three-day online event run by the Schools’ Climate Education South Yorkshire(SCESY), last Week

It featured dozens pre-recorded and live workshops from a variety o of organizations and speakers, including Foodworks, which discussed how to upcycle quality surplus ingredients and locally grown ingredients into food, and Project Drawdown, which focused on how everyone can help tackle the climate crisis by a leading research organization based in the USA.

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Climate change: South Yorkshire schoolchildren meet for three-day climate…

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In pre-recorded keynote speech, Mr Jarvis said: “I often think about climate change and its effects on children. Protecting our planet and our future is the most important thing.

“It is when we adults look at the world through the eyes of your generation, that we see some of the most important challenges we face.

“I believe that we must put our faith in younger generations. You will be able to see the impact young people can have when they are passionately interested in changing the world.

“You just need to look at Greta Thunberg who said: ‘You are never too small to make a difference.’

“But what can you do to make a difference? Walking, scooting, or cycling to school can make it cleaner and more enjoyable to breathe. You can choose what you want to study later in your life to do the clean, sustainable jobs of the future.

“Or the questions that you can ask of the adults in the room, your teachers, parents and carers and friends around you. And even who you vote for when you’re old enough.

“But it’s never too soon to think about the changes you and I can make.”

Anne Bladen, teacher and schools administrator at SCESY, said fear of climate change is impacting a “staggering” amount of young people, with a global survey last year showing that nearly 60 percent of young people feel very worried or extremely worried about it.

She said: “We, at Schools Climate Education South Yorkshire, are very concerned about this. We know that young people can be empowered to make a difference and address anxiety. Our conference aimed to provide information, ideas, inspiration, and guidance to young people on all aspects of climate changes, and how they can help turn things around.

“What we have created is something quite unique, and many schools and organisations outside South Yorkshire have shown significant interest. Our online conference has the advantage of being ongoing. Schools can access it whenever they wish and can tailor the sessions to suit their pupils’ needs. They could spend an afternoon on climate change, or they could dedicate a whole fortnight to climate-related lessons, as some schools are doing. Our teacher resources booklet that accompanies the conference shows that climate change is not a separate subject, but a theme that weaves through every aspect of the school curriculum.”


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