- We are all accountable for our actions
- Hillhead students talk keeping Kelvingrove Park beautiful
- Making it easy to choose a reusable cup for takeaway drinks
- Get to know...John MacLennan
- Get to know...Sandy Scott
- How Eco-Schools benefits pupils, teachers and communities
- Community gardening for climate, nature and heritage in Cumbernauld
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
As we launch our new Climate Action Schools framework, our Deputy CEO, Catherine Gee writes about it and the education initiatives we offer to support Scotland’s educators, young people and children to progress Learning for Sustainability and climate change education.
The environmental challenges we face today aren’t new. I find it hard to comprehend that the first prediction that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could substantially alter the global surface temperature were made in 1896. And it is a bitter pill to swallow to think that many of the consequences of a changing and warming climate were known and understood in depth half a century ago.
In the 1980s we learnt in school about ‘sustainability’, ‘deforestation’ and ‘global warming’. But strangely, although we listened in class, I don’t think we really heard or understood what to do about it. The consequences of our actions then seemed too far removed from our lives at that time. And we certainly didn’t get taught about what our individual role was to help fix things – young people didn’t really have a voice.
Today, the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are seen as the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. Thankfully, what has changed since the days when I was a pupil, is both our understanding of the issues and the sense of urgency we feel about addressing them. It is accelerating rapidly. The appetite for more information from young people, and educators alike, has grown exponentially. Likewise, the depth of understanding of the consequences of inaction is growing as we start to live through the result of our historic inaction. More voices are being heard.
Over the past 25 years we have supported educators and young people in every local authority area across Scotland through Eco-Schools, with many of them proudly flying the Green Flag to share and celebrate their achievements.
In addition, over the past five years our Climate Ready Classrooms in secondary schools has empowered and enabled positive change – creating carbon literate learners and educators who are better informed to take action and progress climate change education.
We know that many educators, young people and children are already doing amazing work across our schools and do wonderful things on a daily basis to plant for nature and biodiversity, cut energy consumption, reduce water usage, tackle litter and reduce waste. Each action helps to combat climate change.
But we also know that our young people and educators are asking for more help. They want to know the facts, the challenges ahead and the links between what they are doing and how it tackles the twin climate and nature crises.
With the adoption of The Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26, we believe that the time to reframe the support we provide is now.
As a country we are working towards becoming a Net Zero nation by 2045 and have set an entitlement to Learning for Sustainability for every learner. Those children and educators at school now will be the ones to help us achieve this ambition. But to do that they need the right tools and information – which is why we’ve launched Climate Action Schools.
Our Climate Action Schools framework will build on our existing activity and increase opportunity for learning across five core components: learning for sustainability; climate emergency; biodiversity; litter and pollution; and amplifying pupil voices.
We believe that a network for sharing national action is needed and the Climate Actions Schools framework will support those in the sector – ensuring that educators feel equipped to quench the thirst of our young people for information on how to combat climate change and how to be heard.
As we bring our Climate Action Schools work to the fore of what we do, we will run our second Climate Action Week for Schools in September, launching new resources, live lessons every day with key speakers and opportunities for pledging action and how to get more involved.
My call to you now is to pledge to join the Climate Action Schools network, through your existing work with us, or in a new way. Help us to support our children and young people to understand the climate emergency and nature crisis and the actions they can take to help our country reach Net Zero by 2045 now.
First published in The Scotsman on Tuesday 14 June 2022.