Schools’ Environment Conference – Autumn 2019

Read more here as linked in our Spring newsletter! Josh Rogers, lead for Climate Education and West Cornwall, attended this inspirational event in the Autumn term:

In late October, the University of Exeter hosted an inspiring conference for young people from all over Cornwall with students from more than 20 secondary schools, including Woodstock Day School from NYC. It was immensely exciting to see so many students from so many different schools coming together with such a wide understanding of the issues we face and how to collectively progress.


The day started with compelling speakers from Primary through to Masters Undergraduate with speeches from Rafi, Tamani, Eva, Bella, Francis and Woodstock Day School students providing an holistic vision of where young people feel that we are amongst climate crisis right now, and how they can see ways for us to move forward societally and globally. 

Students were then asked to provide their top concerns around Climate Change. These were then voted on and returned as our top three points of focus:

1: People accepting that Climate Crisis exists but refusing to do anything about it. 

2: The Fossil Fuel industry.

3: The Meat and Dairy Industry.


Professor Stephan Harrison of Exeter University followed with a presentation looking at high level science and the forecast for climate on our current trajectory. Manda Brookman from Permanently Brilliant then discussed the need for campaigning and being rebellious in a time of crisis, followed by an opportunity for questions. 


The day then saw schools split participants into four groups which travelled around the campus to participate in workshops around Renewable Energy, Textiles, Food Security, Climate Justice, The Green Charter for schools and a Question Time style panel sitting with Prof. Stephan Harrison, Manda Brookman, Cllr Edwina Hanneford (Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, Cornwall Council) and Janine Bisson (STEM – Project Co-ordinator Education Business Partner, Cornwall Council).


To round up the day all of the schools came back together for a positive speech from Tim Osborne (Service Director for Education, Cornwall Council) and looking again at the three priorities decided upon earlier in the day, which remained strongly agreed upon. 


RJ Working were able to attend the entire day, providing a voice for the role of restorative practice within our communities as we face the harms resulting from the global climate crisis, both ecologically and interpersonally. The desperate need for Climate Justice along with ever more Social Justice as a result of climate emergency will be a strong point of focus within our work with young people from West Cornish schools in creating a youth-led conference scheduled to take place in March of 2020.


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