Students, staff and parents at Notre Dame High School have united to call for action on climate change ahead of the UN Summit in Paris.
Inspired by Pope Francis, over 1,061 people in the school signed up to support the request to the Prime Minister David Cameron and his fellow world leaders to agree to act together and protect the poorest and most vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change.
Year nine students set aside a day to give special attention to climate change. Engaging in a series of workshops, they looked at the effect climate change has on the less wealthy countries of the world and studied the global letter that Pope Francis wrote to highlight this issue. They looked at what they could do to reduce their carbon footprint and expressed their vision for the world they want to see. Bringing all this together, they wrote a statement – speaking up for future generations.
Statement to Mr David Cameron the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom and other world leaders for their consideration before the Paris UN Climate Change Conference.
Dear Mr Cameron and other World Leaders:
Climate change is real, serious and it’s happening now. It is the biggest threat that we as humans face this century. Some of us are angry about climate change. Some of us are afraid. We believe that it is not fair that people in poorer countries who have not caused the problem are on the front line and are being most seriously affected.
We want a kinder world where everyone is heard and everyone is equal: no exceptions. We want all countries to be helped to deal with the effects of the climate change that is already happening. If we act now we can help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.
We want the people who make decisions to take responsibility. We want the generation that caused climate change to do something about it and not leave it for future generations to deal with.
We want a global warming free world, where people feel safe in their own country and don’t have to worry about flooding, storms, droughts or losing their homes or their lives because of climate change. We want to create a world where clean renewable energy is used; where racism, world hunger and poverty are extinct instead of animals.
We want to create a new generation that appreciates the earth and will look after it; where all living creatures are seen as equal and where the extinction of animals is not tolerated. We have all made pledges to change. We think that each one of us can make a difference but we need our leaders to agree to help the world. We want to be the generation that acts on climate change and has a government that listens.
Strangers can unite with each other. Small communities can join up to co-create a global network that can do amazing things. We are the generation that can save our world. We want climate action now, not in a few months or years, but NOW!
We represent the voice of future generations and we have the right to a safe, healthy world. World leaders: you have the responsibility to protect those rights. We have a voice and we want our voices heard.
Thank you for hearing us.
Year 9 students (aged 13-14 years)
Notre Dame High School, Norwich, England. November 2015.