Education and Politics: Students and MPs Fighting Climate Change Together

We’ve seen average temperature record’s broken month after month and yet still general public concern for climate change is low. Campaigners are often frustrated with politicians, but our work with MPs over the last three years has shown us that politicians can also feel frustrated by the system they are part of which limits what they can do. Using their high profile role to raise awareness about climate change, however, is something every MP can do and it makes a big difference in breaking through the cultural silence around climate change.

Hope for the Future's work in schools has been encouraging MPs to raise awareness of climate change in schools as well as enabling MPs to hear the voices of the next generation. Whilst climate change events can tend to draw in audiences with pre-existing climate concern, schools span the entire spectrum of society, politically, economically and socially.

Hope for the Future has begun running workshops in schools with MPs across the country. Students are supported to develop their own campaigns around climate change, present them to the local MP, and vote on the best one. The MP is invited to support the ‘winning campaign’ in Parliament and to feedback on progress to the students.

MPs and students can learn more about climate change from each other, and working together MPs share their experiences about how democracy works whilst students have the opportunity to motivate their MP to action. Schools workshops are particularly effective with MPs who are interested but not yet informed about climate change as listening to students’ campaigns gives them an opportunity to learn more.

Our latest workshop was with Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck;

“School is a great place to discuss climate change, as there are so many young people who are interested and who want to get involved. The workshop was a fantastic opportunity to talk about Climate Change and the various campaigns and projects taking place to act against it. Climate change is a really important issue to discuss, and Hope for the Future’s workshop offered a great platform to discuss the different perspectives on how we can tackle climate change.”

For more information on our workshops, see our schools page here. If you know of a school or an MP who would benefit from being involved with this project please contact us at info@hftf.org.uk. We’re applying for funding to carry this project out in constituencies across the UK.