London children consider climate change

Children from across the capital were praised for their work in helping the environment this week as the Mayor hosted the fourth annual London Schools Environment Awards.

Ken Livingstone was joined by TV presenter Chris Packham at City Hall on Wednesday to present the awards to those schools whose projects stood out from the crowd.

The awards, run by the Mayor’s office and the London boroughs, were set up to develop children’s sense of responsibility for their environment and the focus for learning this year has been about climate change.

The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: “It is important that children learn at an early age how to protect the environment by being aware of the threats posed by climate change and what they can do to make a difference.

“The age of an individual Londoner does not alter the impact that they can have on climate change – young and old are involved in the fight against global and local emissions.

“By educating children at primary school level, the London Schools Environment Awards foster children’s sense of responsibility for their environment and at the same time influences the next generation’s consciousness.”

Chris Packham added: “It is really encouraging to see the variety and detail of projects that children from across the capital have been involved in to improve the environment and combat climate change.

“This group of children is the future generation and it is great that they are concerned about the environment now and being proactive in tackling climate change.”

The awards are sponsored by utility companies Thames Water and EDF and supported by the Department for Education and Skills.

Environmental projects in the classroom can have a wider impact on the community, as children take home what they have learned and share it with the rest of the family.

Past surveys into how households have received information on recycling, for example, have shown that the knowledge brought home from school has been more widely accepted and absorbed than that on official council leaflets posted through the letterbox.

A spokesperson for the Mayor told edie: “One of the Mayor’s key messages from the London Climate Change Action Plan is that to tackle climate change you don’t have to reduce your quality of life, but you do have to change the way you live.

“The London School Environment Awards aims to nurture this type of environmental attitude among children. Awards such as these open an environmental debate in the home and reward our future generation for thinking globally and acting locally.”

Sam Bond

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