Climate questions from Sheffield youngsters will be put to world leaders at COP26 conference

A new network of Sheffield schools committed to fighting climate change was launched at a pioneering event which was such a success it is to be held annually.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 6:00 am

More than 40 city schools took part in the first Schools’ Climate Education South Yorkshire conference and questions asked by local youngsters there will now be put to world leaders.

Online workshops touched on a range of aspects related to the climate and nature emergencies including what action young people can take, how to talk with an MP about those issues, practical sessions such as constructing a solar-powered car and a wind turbine, as well as working creatively to write comics on the climate emergency and even performing puppet theatre with vegetables.

A highlight was the live plant-based cooking demonstration delivered by ex High Storrs School students Ian Theasby and Henry Firth, known as celebrity vegan cooks BOSH!

Climate Change - All Saints noticeboard.

Hunters Bar Infant School was also one of four schools to make a video which was broadcast as part of the conference.

Sheffield teenager Patrick Wakefield told the conference: “It’s really important that young people are involved in the conversation about climate change because ultimately it’s our future that’s going to be affected by this. “It really is an insanely rapid pace that things are deteriorating and so we need to act now.”

At the final session panel John Grant, from Sheffield Hallam University, joined contributors from Friends of the Earth and the Centre for Alternative Technology to address questions posted by young people.

Participants voted on the ones they would most like to be asked of world leaders at the COP 26 conference in Glasgow in November and they will be taken forward.

BOSH! speakers.

Organiser Richard Souter said: ‘We were delighted with the engagement of so many local schools and with the energy and creativity of the workshop leaders. The conference was also a platform to launch a South Yorkshire Network of schools tackling climate change and we plan to hold an annual conference – hopefully not always digitally!’

All the workshops are available free on the Schools’ Climate Education South Yorkshire website.

Schools' Climate Education South Yorkshire.