Jesuit schools come together to tackle climate change

Pupils at Jesuit schools in Glasgow, Lancashire and London got together this week to share ideas about how to tackle climate change.  

Tree-planting, vegetable gardens, lobbying politicians about renewable energy – these are some of the activities already underway in Jesuit schools up and down the country. A team from Jesuit Missions went to meet pupils who are keen to develop new ideas ahead of COP26.

A pupil from Wimbledon College (one of the Jesuit schools taking part in discussions this week) said:  

“We’ve campaigned to phase out single-use plastic in our school and we’re talking to the headmaster about other things we can do. We would like to go into primary schools to speak in their assemblies and raise awareness about what they can do to help the environment. We need to prove the adults wrong – if schools show they can all join together then the adults can too.”

The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, will take place in Glasgow in November and is the most important climate meeting since the Paris agreement of 2015.

The Paris agreement commits countries around the world to cut greenhouse emissions, with a long-term goal of slowing the increase in global temperature to an acceptable level.

As well as bringing policymakers together, COP26 will be an opportunity for young people to make their voices heard. The Scottish Government confirmed this week they are considering inviting Great Thunberg to speak at the conference.

In January this year Jesuits in Britain, along with 10 other institutional shareholders, took formal action at Barclays, asking the bank to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies that are active agents in driving the climate crisis. Read more about that here.

If you want to read a Jesuit take on the most comprehensive scientific report ever undertaken on the impact of climate change on the natural environment, click here.