School children drafted their own emergency climate bill

Positive.News – Frustrated by the government’s response to the climate crisis, young people in England and Scotland are taking matters into their own hands

Students in Scotland have launched a campaign to get the Scottish government to provide young people with the skills they need to live sustainably.

It follows the launch of a similar campaign in England, where students drafted an emergency Climate Emergency Education Bill and presented it to MPs earlier this year. The bill has not yet entered parliament. 

Both campaigns were launched by Teach the Future, a student-led group that aims to “urgently repurpose” the education system around the climate emergency. 

Teach the Future wants the climate emergency and ecological crisis to be incorporated in teacher training, as well as a new professional teaching qualification to improve the standard of education on the subject. 

Other demands from Teach the Future include retrofitting all existing building stock used in state education to become net-zero by 2030. The bill was inspired by a 1950s education law in the US, which aimed to boost science, technology, engineering and maths education across the system as part of a wider strategy to win the space race. It is believed to be the first education legislation written up by children. 

Mary Skuodas, 15, one of the students involved in the UK campaign, said: “[The US government] did that so they could win the space race, and they did. We now need a similar massive investment in our education system, so we can combat the climate emergency.”

“We just want to be taught the truth and supported to make a difference,” added Joe Brindle, 17, another Teach the Future campaigner.

Image: Young people protest against climate change. Callum Shaw.

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