Carmarthenshire schoolchildren unlock their super powers to tackle climate change
As our future generations, the children of Carmarthenshire are playing a vital role in supporting the fight against climate change.
Carmarthenshire County Council has engaged thousands of children in its Prosiect Zero Sir Gâr initiative - a targeted effort to bring people together to support the authority’s journey towards becoming net carbon zero by 2030.
Primary school children across the county have been challenged to become ‘Prosiect Zero Super Heroes’, sharing their super powers and ideas to help Carmarthenshire tackle climate change. Their inspiration is being shared online using #ProsiectZeroSirGar.
This runs alongside a strong climate change theme that cuts throughout the curriculum where pupils are learning about the causes and negative impact of global warming, and what action needs to be taken to help protect their future.
Schools have many of their own projects and initiatives underway too, including recycling schemes, community gardens to grow and use their own produce, rainwater harvesting, tree planting, meat-free days and more.
Thousands of school children are also involved in the international ‘Walk the Global Walk’ programme, led in Wales by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Dolen Cymru Lesotho.
The programme educates children about global issues related to migration, climate change and gender equality, as well as providing them with opportunities to learn about different cultures and develop understanding about global issues.
Through this work, pupils have developed a ‘Carmarthenshire Global Goalkeepers
Climate Action Manifesto’, which called on the council to sign up to a series of pledges which include developing more green spaces on school grounds, encouraging sustainable school transport, reducing single-use plastic in schools and ensuring young people are supported to carry out relevant climate actions.
In terms of physical aspects, Carmarthenshire County Council is ensuring school buildings are fit for the future - new schools being built and buildings being redeveloped as part of the council’s Modernising Education Programme include eco-friendly features.
They include schools designed and built to Passivhaus standards offering the highest thermal efficiency, with others being built to include or retro-fitted with solar panels, ground and air source heat pumps, mechanical heat recovery systems and sustainably sourced construction materials.
Cllr Glynog Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, said:
Our children are our future and it’s quite right that they have an active role in supporting our fight against climate change.
“I am so impressed when I visit schools, not just to see the physical eco measures being included in our buildings, but the curricular and extra-curricular activity that is helping shape minds and futures, encouraging children to learn about climate change and the part they can play.”
Prosiect Zero Sir Gâr, launched by Carmarthenshire County Council during the 2021 COP26 global conference on climate change, calls on people to make changes, share ideas, and start conversations to encourage everyone to work together to tackle the issue.
It focuses on every effort that is being made by the council as it works towards being net carbon zero by 2030.
Schools across Carmarthenshire are carrying out a timetable of activities throughout COP26, including assemblies and activities about climate change.
Cllr Ann Davies, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, added:
Our schoolchildren are up for the challenge of becoming Prosiect Zero Super Heroes and share our passion and commitment towards tackling climate change. I look forward to seeing what ideas they come up with and the inspiration they will share to encourage us to make small changes that will make a big difference.”
The Carmarthenshire Global Goalkeepers Climate Action Manifesto
This manifesto for Sustainable Development Goal 13 Climate Action was created by Carmarthenshire’s Global Goalkeepers through the Walk the Global Walk project. Its recommendations were arrived at through discussions with Global Goalkeepers from partner countries, councillors and council officers from Carmarthenshire County Council, teachers, representatives from the Youth Council, Dolen Cymru Lesotho and Keep Wales Tidy.
We, representing the young people of Carmarthenshire, have become acutely aware of the dangers to our own generation and to future generations posed by inaction in the face of climate change. The climate emergency is already affecting millions around the world, hitting hardest those with the least resources to deal with it.
We are making lifestyle changes as individuals and leading actions in our schools and communities to adapt to and mitigate climate change. However, if there is to be a meaningful impact, we cannot do this alone. So we ask that Carmarthenshire County Council pledge its commitment to climate action by:
- Promote development of green spaces and support native tree species planting of a minimum of 10 trees in each school, or school community if school grounds are unsuitable, and ensure their ongoing protection
- Encourage and support safe, sustainable school transport including car-pooling, walking and cycling e.g. providing bike shelters
- Set up a climate action consultation body consisting of a representative group of young people, councillors, council officers, and local businesses which meets every 3 months to ensure progress on this manifesto
- Provide support for developing countries to combat impact of climate change e.g. by supporting the Size of Wales initiative
- Support the development of gardens in schools and local communities to provide food and encourage biodiversity e.g. provide seeds and peat-free compost
- Double the council’s use of hybrid and electric vehicles and install electric charging points in appropriate primary and secondary schools by January 2022
- Work together with schools and suppliers to reduce single use plastic in schools by January 2022
- Ensure young people have the support they need to carry out relevant climate actions
- Play a part in reducing Carmarthenshire’s carbon footprint by getting involved with Prosiect Zero Sir Gâr - find out what the council is doing, and ideas for what you can do by visiting www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/ProsiectZeroSirGar. Start conversations and share ideas online using #ProsiectZeroSirGar