Pupils join forces to create climate change action plan for Lancaster district’s schools

Pupils from across the region came together to create a vision for the future by committing to do their part to help tackle the climate emergency.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 4:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 4:40 pm

Pupil Parliament representatives from schools throughout Lancaster and Morecambe Bay visited Lancaster University to design a climate charter and present it to delegates from the university, the Eden Project, Lancaster & Morecambe College and the city council – as part of the new Morecambe Bay Curriculum.

Developed by the community for the community, the Morecambe Bay Curriculum is a unique green curriculum for children and young people in our region to learn how to look after themselves, their area and their planet.

Nik Marsdin, partnership development officer at Lancaster University, said: “The climate charter was an excellent project and it was really rewarding to see the pupils engage with issues around sustainability.

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Charles Sainsbury from the Eden Project, Lancaster & Morecambe College Principal Wes Johnson and Mark Gardner and Nik Marsdin from Lancaster University, with Pupil Parliament representatives and the Lancaster District Pupil Parliament Climate Charter.

“Lancaster University is committed to sustainability. We declared a climate emergency in 2020 and aim to become carbon neutral by 2035. Lancaster is the highest producer of renewable energy of any UK university.

“We recognise that sustainability, the climate emergency and our environment is the responsibility of our whole community. The Morecambe Bay Curriculum is one of the ways we have committed to engaging with younger members of our region on issues around climate change.

“The climate charter project allowed pupils to learn more about the issues affecting our planet and how we can take steps which can have a positive affect on the climate emergency. I’m really proud of what they came up with.”

The pupils attended the university over a three-week period, the first week learning about sustainability and how to recycle, reuse and reduce your waste from academics at the Lancaster Environment Centre.

Pupils discussing the Lancaster District Pupil Parliament Climate Charter with representatives from Lancaster University, the Eden Project, Lancaster & Morecambe College and Lancaster City Council.

The following week they heard from staff from Lancaster University Management School about leading change. In the third week, they used design techniques from the Institute of Creative Arts to come up with a charter which outlined how they planned to engage their schools in the battle against climate change.

Some of the commitments the pupils made included creating displays to raise awareness around the importance of renewable energy, fundraising activities to support using sustainable energy sources in schools, and creating more space in their schools for wildlife

Lancaster & Morecambe College principal Wes Johnson said: “It was great to see the energy and passion that so many young people show regarding sustainability and climate change and our collective role in doing all we can to protect the special place we live, work and study.”

The Morecambe Bay Curriculum is just one of the community projects being developed in support of the Eden Project’s plans to build a new visitor attraction and research centre in Morecambe.

Dr Ali Birkett from the Lancaster Environment Centre discusses the importance of recycle, reuse and reduce with Pupil Parliament representatives.

Charles Sainsbury, energy and sustainability manager at the Eden Project, added: “Tackling climate change requires collective thought and creative ideas to come up with every day, practical solutions to the problem.

“The Pupil Parliament Climate Charter is an amazing example of what can be achieved in a relatively short space of time when young people come together to imagine the future they want to live in.

“It was inspiring to see so much enthusiasm from the pupils in developing their own climate charter and we look forward to working with them more closely as Eden Project North progresses.”

Pupils discussing the Lancaster District Pupil Parliament Climate Charter with representatives from Lancaster University, the Eden Project, Lancaster & Morecambe College and Lancaster City Council.