Schools across the borough came together to share climate action best practice and tackle the ecological and climate crisis.
On Wednesday 3rd November schools from within the borough and across London came together at the state-of-the-art Samsung KX building at Coal Drops Yard to share climate action best practice and celebrate efforts taken by schools to tackle the climate crisis. The event took place during the COP26 period, during which world leaders met in Glasgow to agree on a revised approach on how best to tackle climate change moving forward.
The event saw the launch of the Camden School Climate Charter, a local framework to empower schools to play their part in making Camden a zero-carbon borough by 2030. Signatories will declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency and commit to actions to contribute to addressing it in line with the Camden Climate Action Plan 2020-2025. The event also provided an opportunity for schools to network and find new ways of collaborating and supporting each other in their climate ambitions.
Guest speakers from organisations providing vital services to schools shared how they can support schools in their sustainability efforts. These included:
- Greening school menus – Caterlink
- Managing your waste – Veolia
- Retrofitting school buildings – Camden Council
- Active travel – Camden Council
- Climate action planning – Transform our world
We also heard from schools about successful climate action initiatives as an example and inspiration for others to follow. These included:
- University College School
- Parliament Hill School
- Torriano Primary School
The Air Quality Zone
The afternoon section of the event consisted of a ‘world cafe section’ that was designed with the aim of getting teachers to sign to the council’s new Schools Climate Charter and commit to 3 pledges. There were 7 ‘themed zones’, and Camden Clean Air had the privilege of running the air quality zone, with the tag line How can your school take a path to clean air?
It was a brilliant chance to speak with teachers about what they were already doing to encourage clean travel and improve air quality, what the challenges were that they faced, and what we could offer them in terms of Camden Clean Air resources and projects.
After the ‘world cafe section’, Camden Council and the Camden Climate Change Alliance (CCCA) held a celebration event to mark climate action in Camden and beyond. With the support of funding from the Greater South East Energy Hub the event was featured as part of the COP26 Regional Roadshows.
The event served to bring together organisations, third sector, and community to share knowledge, network, find new ways to collaborate, and inspire the next wave of climate action initiatives.
- Cllr Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
- Cllr Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden
- Climate Justice Keynote – Ebony Holland, Nature-Climate Policy Lead, International Institute for Environment and Development
This was followed by a panel debate facilitated by Chandrima Padmanabhan, Centre for Public Impact. Panellists included:
- Benaifer Bhandari – CEO of Hopscotch, Chair of Voluntary Action Camden
- Aliza Ayaz – UN Goodwill Ambassador & International Climate Activist
- Paul King – Managing Director Sustainability and Social Impact, Lendlease
- Ryan June, Programme Director, Green Finance Institute