To whom it may concern …

 Dear COP27 delegate or observer, 

We’re writing to you as representatives of the UK Schools Sustainability Network – a network of students, alumni, educators and school staff from across the UK – to pass on our general and UK-specific asks for COP27 in the hope that you can voice them for us. 

What we would like to see from COP27: 

  • Leaders build off the electric atmosphere that UKSSN members witnessed last year at COP26 in the blue zone on Youth Empowerment Day when global education ministers and environmental ministers held their first ever joint conference. We demand that they agree to ambitious green education strategies that include meaningful climate and environmental education in the compulsory curriculum as well as all the support schools need in terms of funding, legislation and capacity to understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change. 
  • Any agreements, actions or deals move us closer not only to climate action but also climate justice with human rights violations challenged, and loss and damage finance factored in. 
  • Youth voice not used as a propaganda stunt but genuinely included and given weight so that youth take an active role in the conference and any subsequent environmental action. 
  • Greater public mass education on the COP27 process and outcomes – implemented through schools, the media and other channels – to increase awareness and public participation. 

What we would like to see from the UK COP27 delegation: 

  • The UK government does all it can to push for the above asks of COP27. 
  • The UK government works to increase levels of awareness about COP27, reduce climate and environmental apathy and increase engagement in the process through education and action. 
  • As the Department for Education did with its Sustainability and Climate Strategy, factor youth voice into policymaking not just as a youth-washing stunt but as a key part of the process. 

The news about the conference is a mix of positivity and negativity with the announcement of the Youth Pavilion featuring alongside stories about Egypt’s human rights violations and the fact that Britain’s current Prime Minster isn’t even going to attend. We hope that you have a productive time at COP27 and thank you for listening to our demands. It’s impossible to word how much being listened to means for youth, especially when trying to sort through all the good and bad news. 

Kind regards, 

Student and staff members of the UK Sustainable Schools Network

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