This is the first newsletter from the UK Student Climate Network [UKSCN]. We shall bring you future editions when they’re published.*
Youth Strike 4 Climate #6
On Friday 19th of July, the UK once again saw thousands of students take to the streets in over 70 locations to demand climate justice in our 6th national Youth Strike 4 Climate. From Penzance to Fort William, Hastings to Isle of Man, students left their classrooms and donned placards and megaphones. This month, we focussed on all four of our demands – Save the Future, Teach the Future, Tell the Future, and Empower the Future. Despite the heavy rain and although many locations did see a lower turnout compared to previous months, due to the end of term, the strikes were as lively and energetic as always. Isabella, a striker from Cockermouth, said “Whilst we were few in numbers, we had a great atmosphere and the public were all really supportive.”
Next up is our Global Climate Strike on 20th September. Find out more about where to strike and register here.
Green New Deal
In the Green New Deal working group, we are revisiting our Pledge for GND campaign by contacting Conservative and Lib Dem leadership candidates and calling on them to endorse a Green New Deal and support its implementation. Both campaigns have involved various UKSCN members attending hustings and leadership debates to question policy of prospective leaders of both parties on net zero and the Green New Deal. With the Conservative campaign in particular, we have delivered a letter signed by various UKSCN members detailing what a Green New Deal is, why we need one and why they need to support it. This follows a widespread increase in support for the Green New Deal, with the number of constituency Labour parties supporting a Green New Deal growing rapidly , as well as UKSCN’s ‘Pledge for GND’ campaign during the European Parliament elections seeing nine candidates elected on a pledge to support a Green New Deal and the declaration of a climate emergency in the European Parliament.
The political outreach working group are currently researching the feasibility of getting youth councils to work together to support UKSCN campaigns and getting the Climate and Ecological Emergency on the Make Your Mark Ballot. We already have many young politicians – who work at a local, county, national and continental level – assisting in gathering information about their areas and promoting within their constituencies.
The Schools Development working group have just launched the UKSCN Teachers’ Network, a network of teachers and educational professionals, in the form of a Facebook group, who support the work of UKSCN in protesting the government’s lack of action on the climate crisis. It is a space to communicate, share resources and work together to teach about climate change, encourage UKSCN school groups and push for curriculum change. If you are a teacher or educational professional who would like to get involved then please contact us through our website.
CCEA Exam Board – Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland’s branch we’ve been working on a letter to the Northern Irish exam board CCEA. We’re addressing the biased, apathetic, and through many CCEA subjects, minimal education on the climate crisis. With this letter it’s hoped that CCEA will take a stand to change their curriculum for the better, and perhaps encourage other exam boards to follow suit!
We ask for your cooperation in signing the letter on google documents and demanding better from the UK curriculum.
Devon County Council Meeting
Last month, students from across Devon met with officers and councillors from the County Council. Things quickly became emotional as the group challenged the council on their constant prioritising of economic growth. The group were asking for a radical overturning of their current budget which donates much of the county’s money to road building rather than cycling infrastructure, as well as parking levies to help improve rural public transport links. Despite much resistance from the council, the strikers returned on their doorstep the next day to continue the pressure.
Another area that UKSCN is currently working on is that of school groups. Members have started up UKSCN groups within their schools to spread awareness and persuade more young people to join us in the fight to save the world. Activities that school groups are working on at the moment include: reducing the environmental impact of their own school, such as by reducing single-use plastic, running assemblies, running short lessons for younger years, and planning local actions. We have also created lesson plans, PowerPoints and activity sheets that can be used in workshops in primary schools. We want to help younger children to learn about the environment and enable them to help fix it. If you would like to find out more or set up your own UKSCN school group then please check out the page on our website here, where we have a step by step guide. Please also register it on the site as well to help us to keep track of the schools that we are active in!
In Solidarity, UK Student Climate Network,
8 Delancey Passage, London, NW1 7NN
* As is normal in our blogs, NAEE’s reporting of what UKSCN is doing should not be seen as an endorsement of it.