Derek Thomas MP made a speech in Westminster Hall about the importance of educating our children about climate change. He showed that Cornwall’s schools are leading the way in preparing children for the impact of climate change and how it can be mitigated.
Derek praised the work done in schools that he has visited, including
- Mullion School’s eco-club, which uses technology to monitor the ice caps
- Mounts Bay Academy’s tree-planting, polytunnel and plastic-free campaigns
- Nancledra School’s ground-breaking eco-fair
- Marazion School’s beach cleans
- Trythall School’s work with members of the WI to make schools and homes environmentally friendly
- The schools who work with Surfers Against Sewage on cleaning up our beaches, and
- The schools who together planted thousands of trees with the Woodland Trust
He noted the interest schools in the area took in the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, using it as an opportunity to persuade world leaders to accelerate action and to prepare properly for COP26.
Derek praised the enthusiasm of teachers in Cornwall to teach about the impact of climate change, and said their example should be extended across the country.
“We had a head start in our schools because of the way they have engaged our children in the need to decarbonise and to restore nature.
“We need to take seriously the need to teach about climate change and how to mitigate it formally in our classrooms.
“Climate education will reduce anxiety, as students will be empowered with information to tackle the problem.”
Derek also emphasised the importance of climate change education in preparing children for future job opportunities, as Cornwall leads the green industrial revolution. Cornwall’s natural resources – lithium, renewable energy, including geothermal used in the Jubilee Pool, and potential for carbon sequestration, on the land and the ocean floor – place it at the heart of our green future, and children need education to share in these ambitions.
“This is about the skills need across the country to deliver what we have committed to, and that must start with preparing children and young people for the work they will do when they leave.
“We must look at what skills are needed to meet the higher skilled job opportunities in renewable energy, construction, mining, technology, agriculture and environmental and marine management.
“The choices we make to do the right thing for the planet are actually choices that are good for us.”
Derek’s speech was praised by MPs from across the House of Commons.
“This was a very timely debate – with COP26 starting this week, everyone needs to be prepared for our green future.
“I am extremely proud of the work that schools in Cornwall do in preparing children for the challenges of today and the careers of tomorrow.
“I am passionate in my belief that choices in the interests of the environment are not negative or sacrificial – they will lead to better homes, healthier air and high-skilled jobs.”