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UK’s largest ever Youth Climate Summit will show world leaders how it’s done

Environmental charity Global Action Plan, today (26 Oct) announces the final line up for the UK’s largest online youth climate event, the Youth Climate Summit 2020. Britain’s Got Talent stars SOS for the Kids choir, the University of Oxford, WWF-UK, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and LEGO are among the organisations coming together in two weeks’ time for the Summit. 

Starting on Monday 9th November, the week-long Summit is happening entirely online on the Transform Our World teacher resource hub and will see UK schools unite to learn and make pledges for the planet, during the week when world leaders should have been meeting for the COP26 summit in Glasgow. Running across five themed days: 

  • Schools will be making pledges every day throughout the summit, with one of the main Summit calls to action for schools to join the Let’s Go Zero campaign, which unites schools working to become zero carbon by 2030 and calls for government backing for zero carbon schools. 
  • Primary and secondary schools all over the UK can choose from over 150 free online sessions, as well as inspiration sessions, fun at home activities and evening film viewings. There are inspiring green careers talks with representatives from Tesco, LEGO and WWF-UK. 
  • The Summit will close on Friday 13th November when young people will summarise and present the pledges made during the week to an expert panel, which includes UK High Level Climate Action Champion, Nigel Topping, Science communicator and broadcaster Dr Emily Grossman, Senior Vice President of the National Education Union (NEU), Daniel Kebede and Mya Rose-Craig aka Bird girl, ornithologist and campaigner. 

Ahead of the event, thirty Youth Climate Summit Ambassadors from across the UK have been reaching out to celebrities, including writing an open letter to Sir David Attenborough asking him to support the Summit. One ambassador also interviewed the nature writer and forester Peter Wohlleben, writer of The Hidden Life of Trees.  

The Transform Our World teacher resource hub, co-ordinated by Global Action Plan, is funded through the #iwill Fund, which is made possible thanks to a £50 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities, such as volunteering and campaigning, around the issues that matter to them.  

Dorry Macaulay, SOS from the Kids creator says: “SOS from the Kids’ was written by my son Simeon (then 12) and myself as a way to channel anxiety and despondency about the climate crisis. It has since become a movement for musical activism.” 

We’re happy to be part of the youth climate summit because we know many other children and their families feel the same anxiety about climate issues. We want to share ideas about ways this anxiety can be channelled; so children can be empowered to use their voices’ and feel hopeful about their future.” 

Anna Turrell, Head of Environment, Tesco says: “Climate change affects us all, which is why tackling the climate crisis requires everyone to take action. We all have a role to play. The Youth Climate Summit represents an important opportunity to come together, to learn, collaborate and act.” 

Miriam Zachau Walker and Bill Finnegan, researchers at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford say: The Youth Climate Summit is an excellent opportunity for educators and learners to engage with the climate crisis and help shape a climate resilient future. We are excited to share our work using maths in environmental education, and digital storytelling to empower the voices of young people.” 

Matt Larsen-Daw, Education Manager at WWF-UK says: The environmental challenges we face are daunting, but it is essential that young people growing up in this time of crisis do not feel helpless, but rather are focused on the mission of shaping a world that lives in balance with nature. As the world transitions from ways of living and working that we know cannot be sustained forever to a new, sustainable, zero carbon future, there will be opportunities for the young people who have the skills, knowledge and resolve to lead the way. Events like this summit are key to helping them to understand not only the issues, but their potential to shape a future in which they can thrive – not just survive. WWF-UK is proud to be supporting this important event.” 

Rose Bray, Community Outreach Campaigner at Greenpeace says Greenpeace are really excited to be part of the Youth Climate Summit. Our Greenpeace Youth Speakers will be running sessions on each day of the event, exploring the most pressing issues facing our planet. There is a real sense of opportunity and energy here, with so many young people coming together to take collective action.”  

Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Action Champion says“Every one of us has a role to play in addressing climate change and young people all over the world are leading the way. I am particularly inspired by the Youth Climate Summit – designed by young people, for young people, who are coming together to take action on climate change and encouraging their schools and families to join them. I’m delighted to be a supporter of the summit.”  

Sonja Graham, Co-CEO from Global Action Plan says“Global Action Plan has worked closely with a team of dedicated teachers to coordinate the Youth Climate Summit, and the result is staggering – 150 online events across 5 days, with a team of Youth Ambassadors spreading the word. We are proud to host this event on our Transform Our World teacher hub and are looking forward to an inspiring week of pledges for the planet.” 

Erko Sakhiyeva, Youth Climate Summit Ambassador says: “Schools’ primary goal is to educate a generation of future leaders and doers, global citizens – so it’s vital to make sure that pupils have the resources, knowledge and experience to take action and create a better, more sustainable and inclusive world. Participating in the Youth Climate Summit is a substantial step in this direction.”   

Hannah Watters, Youth Climate Summit Ambassador says: “Schools should get involved in the Youth Climate Summit as it’s an excellent opportunity to teach their students about the world they live in and how to keep it clean and healthy. It will provide fun and innovative ways to teach about the environment and encourages young people to have a say in their future.” 

Schools can book sessions now at:

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