Schools and colleges across the East of England will be able to learn about climate change, energy and biodiversity from a climate education hub coordinated by the University of East Anglia’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
The programme is part of the Department for Education’s new strategy for every school, college, and university to have free access to expert support to become greener and more climate resilient. Climate Action Plans produced by the schools and pupils themselves will help them to boost climate education, promote green careers, reduce carbon emissions, increase biodiversity and allow them to become more resilient to climate extremes.
Asher Minns, Executive Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said: “Coordinating schools’ engagement for the East of England supports the UEA and Tyndall Centre’s work for regional climate action. Our children will have the skills and knowhow to continue our region’s clean energy revolution and be resilient to climate change.”
Climate Ambassadors are willing expert volunteers from academia or education or business or the third sector who are trained to engage with schools. They help schools develop their sustainability leadership, climate science, environmental education, and enhance their biodiversity.
The University of East Anglia will be recruiting a regional climate schools coordinator to lead climate ambassadors in the New Year.
“All future jobs in the East of England are green jobs. Our Broads, coastlines, farming, water supply, infrastructure and increased houses and populations make the East of England evermore more vulnerable to climate change as global average temperatures continue to rise. And the UK cannot decarbonise its energy without the clean energy security of the East of England” said Asher Minns.
This nationwide programme is a collaboration involving the University of East Anglia, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Newcastle, University of Leeds, Keele University, Universities for Nottingham, the Met Office and University College London, along with other national partners at STEM Learning, Hopscotch Communications and Change Agents. It is co-led by the University of Reading and the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Higher Education (EAUC.
Prof Andrew Charlton-Perez at the University of Reading who leads this Consortium and the Climate Ambassador scheme, said: “Nurseries, schools, and colleges are the lifeblood of our communities and connect people in ways that few other organisations do. “They are places where we can join together in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. As we grow the scheme, the number of connections we will make between expertise and communities will get bigger and better.”
The expanded Climate Ambassadors scheme will launch in March 2024 and aims to rapidly scale up support for English schools, colleges and universities to support the DfE’s sustainability and climate change goals.