07 Jun, 2017

Schools switch on for a carbon neutral future

Adelaide’s next generation of climate leaders are gathering in the city today and Thursday for a two-day sustainability summit aimed at taking action on climate change.

The City of Adelaide, in partnership with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board, is hosting about 120 students from Adelaide’s senior schools for the Switched on Schools summit on Wednesday 7 June and Thursday 8 June.

The summit will provide opportunities for young people to look at ways they can effect change within their own schools and communities, and how that can impact positively on the broader community.

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese said that he is pleased to be attending the summit for the third year in a row, with students and teachers from both city and metropolitan schools to take part.

“It is my strong belief that becoming a carbon neutral city is both an environmental imperative and an economic opportunity for the City of Adelaide.

“It will provide new employment and economic paths through new industries and create new career avenues. I am convinced that young people are the vehicle through which we can educate and facilitate change when it comes to sustainability.

“This summit supports the development of leadership skills and is an opportunity for schools to lead the way in making sustainable changes in the community, which aligns with the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan that Council released in collaboration with the State Government last year.

“Our commitment to making the City of Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city demonstrates the ability of the South Australian community to lead with new technologies and invest in industries that have enormous international potential. This will provide many opportunities in the future for today’s young people.”

Minister for Climate Change, Ian Hunter, will attend the youth parliament to be held on the final day of the summit.

“It is evident that communities that are leading the global transition to a low-carbon economy are creating jobs and building expertise that is in demand world-wide.

“Young people understand the dangers that global warming presents and the need for action. They also understand the economic opportunities – both now and into the future – of acting on global warming.

“Young people are our carbon neutral ambassadors of the future and we need to have them at the table. The decisions we make today will decide the future they inherit.”

Laura Sykes, National Schools Program Director, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, said, “Global warming is a huge threat to young people’s future, and we know we need to be taking action now to implement solutions to climate change. This event is an opportunity to give young people the skills and tools they need to tackle climate change, and lead campaigns to repower their schools with renewable energy.

“We are excited to be working with the City of Adelaide and Natural Resources Management Board to provide high school students with the opportunity to learn more about climate change and how they can lead the transition to a renewable energy future in their schools and communities.”

The two-day summit, being held at the Flinders University Building on Victoria Square, will include presentations from young leaders, workshops where they can learn more about climate solutions, planning sessions, and opportunities to meet like-minded students.

This year, adapting to climate change is an added focus for the summit, with workshops for both teachers and students prepared by the AMLR board’s NRM Education team. The City of Adelaide, in collaboration with seven other eastern region councils and the State Government, delivered Resilient East, a Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan that identified priorities for adaptation across the Eastern Region of metropolitan Adelaide.

For more information go to www.switchedonschools.org.au/

Media are welcome to attend the Youth Parliament which will be held at 1.30pm on Thursday 8 June in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga. Minister Hunter will be in attendance.

Image sourced from switchedonschools.org.au

For more information

Paula Stevens