Education and climate change

Today is education day at COP-26. This blog first mentioned climate change in a post on 17th September 2019 and most recently did so in a post about school buildings Zero Carbon Schools | John Howson (wordpress.com) a couple of months ago.

I am delighted to say that the issue of school playgrounds as a possible resource for renewable energy is being taken forward by a multi-national company. Their idea is to inset PV tiles into the surface rather than have extending panels that was my suggestion. Any change to the surface must be safe for children in any weather conditions and must not become contaminated with anything that would reduce the effectiveness of the tiles as a source of energy. The process must also be cost effective.

However, with the roll out of 5G leading to the end of copper phone cables and no guarantee of phone services in a power cut as a result, some local generation and storage capacity in rural areas might well be another reason at looking into the wider role of schools and their buildings in serving local communities.

Today at COP-26 will no doubt be mostly centred around the curriculum as that is where governments can make promises that cost little to implement compared with changes to buildings already in use and setting standards for new construction.

There will also be a new award announced by the Secretary of State to encourage young people to take action against climate change, as if encouragement was needed. As I wrote in an earlier post on this blog, young people can start by conducting an audit of their school’s current actions relating to climate change and suggest some simple steps to start with. In the light of COP-26, will every governing body have an item about climate change on their agenda for this term’s final meeting?

School transport and especially the use of parent’s cars to take children to and from school can be a major source of both pollution and energy consumption. The move towards electric vehicles will help with the former and can encourage better use of the latter if the power to drive the vehicles is created from renewable energy.

So, today is a day for some celebration, much reflection and a desire to move forward. However, actions will speak louder than words in the next few years.

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