Today, students across Westonbirt have been engaged in a COP26 Symposium discussing issues including climate action, responsible production and children’s environmental rights. The event started with an assembly entitled ‘COP26: What Is It All About?’ and has been followed by a robust programme of workshops led by Target4Green, a consultancy offering in-depth knowledge of education for Sustainability Development and Global Citizenship.
Year 9 Geography have been preparing for the day by studying the many issues surrounding sustainability and will be focusing their learning over the next half term on climate change and the discussions that emerge from COP26. On Wednesday, the class explored the varying levels of CO2 emissions different countries create using per capita data from 2018. Each student represented a different country and was challenged to pace out the number of steps that reflected the equivalent number of tonnes of CO2 emitted by their country. The images below reflects the contrasting results with Qatar taking 37 steps and Malawi only 0.08.
Year 9 were then divided into 4 groups and each group was given a tray that represented their land. One side of the tray was the sea, the other half land.
The groups had 5 minutes to build a coastal defence to sea level rises using resources that reflected the wealth in their region. The poorest countries had to make do with whatever they could find on the school field whilst richer nations enjoyed more plentiful resources. The activity created a stimulus for discussions around the impact of talks taking place in Glasgow this week and helped students understand the importance of more developed countries pledging money to help developing nations prepare for and mitigate against the impacts of climate change.