Young Aberdonians empowered to be global citizens

Councillor Martin Greig

PUPILS across Aberdeen are becoming responsible global citizens thanks to their participation in a wide range of educational initiatives on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Net Zero throughout 2023 and 2024. 

A report on those activities and the progress made by the Youth Climate Change group in helping educate and empower pupils went before the Education and Children’s Services Committee today (Tuesday 30 April 2024).  

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Councillor Martin Greig, the Convener of Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “The Climate Change, Biodiversity and Net Zero projects in schools are impressive.  

“These initiatives, and the work being done by the Youth Climate Change Group, mean our young people can make ongoing positive impacts on these issues. This is crucial as we tackle environmental challenges locally that have a global impact. It is wonderful to see our young people become positive local and global citizens.” 

Councillor Jessica Mennie, vice-convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “It is very important that our children and young people are aware of the issues around being greener and sustainable as it enables them to be part of the solution now and in the future.”   

The 2023/24 Education Climate Change report details the work undertaken by schools as part of the city’s drive towards Net Zero.  

Schools have integrated biodiversity and climate change activities into lessons and students have explored their roles as active citizens in addressing environmental challenge through film screenings, workshops, and school-based activities.  Young people have gained greater knowledge and understanding of the importance that sustainable practices, environmental conservation, and collective action can make in their local area.   

Increasingly, schools are partnering with Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), Aberdeen for a Fairer World (AFW), North East Scotland Climate Action Network (NESCAN), and the Energy Transition Zone (ETZ), as well as several other partners, to support their work on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Net Zero.  

The Youth Climate Change group has made direct links with every school’s Eco/Climate Change group to expand the network and offer to support their future plans and initiatives as well as establishing relationships with BP, NESCAN (Northeast Climate Action Network), ETZ (Energy Transition Zone), and AFW (Aberdeen for a Fairer World).  

The group has represented the voice of the young people of Aberdeen at national forums and events. These have included the national Education Scotland Learning for Sustainability group which was keen to hear about the Aberdeen group.  

The group is currently working alongside council staff on the ABZ Pipeline project, which supports the creation of the city’s future energy workforce. The group will also be involved in developing surveys and chairing pupil focus groups so that the voice of the young people of Aberdeen is part of this important project.  

Engagement opportunities are going beyond the classroom, with a focus on improving wider achievement and volunteering opportunities, as well as supporting National Qualifications (NQs).  

The full agenda and reports that went before the Education and Children’s Services Committee today are available to view here.  

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