Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland, Clydebank, News

News Release: CNS to host special event during COP26

PRESS RELEASE

Children and young people to share their views on tackling climate change during COP26

Children and young people from West Dunbartonshire will showcase outputs from their unique collaborations with counterparts in Chile at a special event held at the University of Glasgow during the COP26 climate change summit. 

Pupils from St Eunan’s Primary and St. Peter the Apostle Secondary, who are engaged in ongoing climate conversations with pupils at Colegio Luis Cruiz Martinez in Chile, will present their experiences to a panel set to include Lorna Slater MSP, Co-leader of Scottish Greens, and Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity. 

Today’s session (10 November 2021) contributes to the University of Glasgow’s eclectic schedule of COP26 events, and seeks to ensure that the concerns children and young people have in relation to climate change are voiced and amplified during the course of the UN summit.

Hearing first-hand from children and young people from West Dunbartonshire in Scotland, and through videos sent from Quilpue in Chile, the Cabinet Secretary will learn more about the work being undertaken by schools in both countries, while gaining insight into how children are thinking about, responding to, and engaging with climate change and COP26 in both local and global contexts. 

Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, said: 

“Today’s event demonstrates the powerful role children and young people have in shaping climate policy. The Scottish Government is firmly committed to taking all the action within our power to create a more equal, just and fair future that prioritises children and young people’s wellbeing and a just transition to net zero, and we have a clear duty to work in partnership with children and young people to ensure they are fully involved in this process.” 

This international dialogue on climate change has been facilitated by researchers from Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland (CNS), and the Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE)

The ‘Our Future, Our Planet’ project utilises the ‘Children’s Voices’ research model developed by CNS, applying a capabilities approach to the climate concerns of almost 160 children and young people in Scotland and Chile. 

It follows the framework of a ‘research-practice partnership’ and features regular cooperative sessions – during which children and young people engage with teachers and researchers to define climate change, explore the related issues, and communicate their findings and wellbeing concerns. 

Professor Chris Chapman, Principal Investigator for Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland, said: 

“Never have the voices of children and young people been more important; they will be the future custodians of our planet. Listening to their views and demands is a vital part of the equation that we all need to adhere to, to help reach Net Zero.” 

The project also brings together university staff and schoolteachers from Chile and Scotland to discuss the pedagogical approaches and tools that will bring climate issues closer to the curriculum, while strengthening students’ voice and action. 

In addition to promoting student voice and agency, a further objective is to promote knowledge exchange between teaching teams in Chile and Scotland. This will be facilitated by documenting the process in each country, with focus on developing tools and materials and youth-led projects to make a difference. 

Milena Paez, Researcher from PUCV, Chile, said: 

“The international dimension of this project allowed us to develop a more effective strategy to design the activities using the capabilities model as an overall framework. In addition, the interaction among students from the two countries was a powerful way to enrich our understanding of the global impact of climate change in different contexts.”

Contact Details: Rachel Cowper – Programme Director 

Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland 

Email: Rachel.cowper@glagsow.ac.uk 

Further information

– Contact Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland: childrens-neighbourhoods@glasgow.ac.uk 

– Follow CNS on Twitter at https://twitter.com/cnscotland and for more information about our work, see https://childrensneighbourhoods.scot.

– Contact NSEE: nsee@glasgow.ac.uk.

– Follow NSEE on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NSEEScotland and for more information about their work, see https://nsee.org.uk.

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