Author: Isle Orson-Jones
With COP28 just around the corner, you might notice a surge in the news stories around the climate crisis and what action is being taken on the international stage. While summits such as COP can bring about valuable change, the limitations and lack of ambition of the agreements reached can also lead to feelings of powerlessness. After almost three decades of COP global emissions are still increasing, temperatures are rising, and those most marginalised and least responsible are facing the worst of the crisis. This is why we have put together 5 easy things you can do this COP28 to take climate action as a young person, and be part of a global moment of climate action.
1. Be Part of Teach the Teacher Week
Is COP28 not being discussed at your school? Do you wish you could talk about the importance of this event, and the anxiety people may feel around it? No fear!
Join students across the country in teaching your teachers how to deliver effective climate education! From 1st - 8th December we are hosting Teach the Teacher week to align with COP28. During this week we’re encouraging and supporting young people to either attend an onboarding call to join the Teach the Teacher campaign, or to deliver a Teach the Teacher session to teachers in their school. Some of the Teach the Teacher team are actually attending COP28 and would love to bring photos and case studies of Teach the Teacher sessions ran in schools to highlight the amazing work being done by students across the UK on climate education. To get involved, register your interest today!
2. Join a Local Event on the Global Day of Action
This Saturday 9 December, there will be a global day of action for climate justice. Local activist groups from an alliance of charities, climate groups, and unions are running events across the UK as part of the Climate Justice Coalition.
Together, whether through marching, rallying, handing out leaflets or joining a stall, we will send a clear message: Now We Rise. Find out what local events are happening near you, or if you are feeling brave and inspired, even organise one yourself!
3. Connect with Nature
We recognise that going on a march isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for a way to unwind and alleviate some anxiety, consider going to a nearby green or natural space. This can look different to everyone, depending on where you live: a river, the countryside, the beach, or even just your nearest park. Connecting with nature can be super restorative for both mental and physical health, and a lovely way to take a break from everything!
4. Check Out Online Talks
In the absence of effective and compulsory climate education, sometimes we need to take matters into our own hands! There is a wealth of information online, including lots of informational videos and talks about COP28 and climate action in general on YouTube, including TED talks and lectures. For example, TED have a playlist on climate action, and Force of Nature have a podcast talking with some of the most interesting people in climate activism about navigating climate anxiety and making a difference. If you feel a desire to learn more, browse the web for a video that suits your interests. Climate change is relevant and can be integrated into pretty much every subject, so there’s sure to be something which matches what you care about!
5. Have Conversations about COP28 with Family and Friends
COP28 will be a decisive event for whether the world keeps to its climate targets, so now more than ever it is vital for the climate crisis to be a subject which isn’t shied away from. Talking about climate change can also help to remedy anxiety and ease feelings of powerlessness. Knowing that other people care and organising to take climate action together can be reassuring and empowering. Even something as simple as a 5 minute conversation can spur you on in your activism journey.
We hope you find some of these tips helpful! Taking action this COP28 is not only a valuable and important use of your time, but can also be an opportunity to have fun and be part of a wider community calling for climate justice. The same applies to Teach the Teacher: it is a chance to do something with your friends to make a tangible difference in your school and wider community. Whatever you do this COP28, we hope you feel inspired to keep fighting for climate justice/
To take part in Teach the Teacher week, running from 1st - 8th December, sign up today!