A week of free events across the city aims to inspire young people ahead of COP26 with £50,000 in awards also available for schools to make environmental improvements.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a week of climate activities in November for young people to get involved in, including the launch of a £50,000 fund with Bloomberg to help young Londoners improve the environment that they live and study in.
The mayor’s Climate Kick-Start will see thousands of young people from London schools work together to tackle threats such as climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, air pollution and single-use plastics.
Schools can bid for £10,000 of funding each to kick-start or accelerate exemplar environmental projects. The winning schools will be announced at the end of the week of action at a ceremony hosted by Khan, Bloomberg and television presenter, paralympian and climate activist, Ade Adepitan. Smaller grants of £500-£2,000 are available for schools to run events during that week, helping to cover the cost of equipment or specialist facilitators.
Taking place from 1-5 November – after the first ever Earthshot Prize in London and during the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) – the Climate Kick-Start will also feature dozens of hands-on free events, including:
All London secondary schools will receive a free Key Stage 3 lesson resource curated by the Museum of London to help raise awareness of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) and the main issues to be discussed affecting people and the planet.
This announcement follows recently published data from City Hall showing that 98 per cent of schools in London are in areas exceeding World Health Organisation pollution limits, compared to 24 per cent outside of London. Khan wants to educate and empower young people to go further and faster in addressing environmental issues, and showcase the fantastic work that so many schools are already doing.
“If we don’t take bold action now on the climate emergency, it’s London’s young people who will feel the worst impacts. The Climate Kick-Start will give London’s youth the chance to be heard,” said Khan.
“Whether it’s designing sustainable clothing to reduce waste or planting trees to help our city adapt to our changing climate, I want to hear the best ideas from London’s young people on the small and big changes we must all make to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.”
Khan also champions advocacy from young Londoners via the London Youth Assembly, Peer Outreach programme and other strategic youth participation projects. He has been clear that that city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic must be green, and not car-led.
“If we don’t take bold action now on the climate emergency, it’s London’s young people who will feel the worst impacts. The Climate Kick-Start will give London’s youth the chance to be heard”
As part of that recovery, the Green New Deal will help London to become greener and fairer by creating new jobs and skills for Londoners, ensuring London becomes a net zero-carbon city by 2030 and a zero-waste city by 2050. Khan’s Green New Deal fund is already investing £10m in programmes that support around 1,000 green jobs, while tackling the climate emergency and inequalities.
“Tackling climate change is not only one of our greatest challenges but also an opportunity to spur innovation,” said Jemma Read, global head of corporate philanthropy, Bloomberg.
“Through our work with young people across the capital we know that London’s schools are full of smart, ambitious students determined to create equitable and sustainable change through local action. We’re proud to build on our partnership with the mayor of London to help accelerate powerful ideas and support the local leadership necessary to protecting our planet.”