The Climate Commission is a unique partnership of higher and further education organisations that aims to bring the education sector firmly into the climate change debate. Above all, the Commission aims to amplify the student voice.
Grantham Scholar Marta Crispo is one of 8 commissioners for the Climate Commision. Along with 2 other student commissioners, she provides direction and leadership to the Commission’s work.
‘Students really want universities to take a stand on the climate crisis’, says Marta. “And they want to see actual changes within universities – such as sustainability being embedded in the curricula alongside other ethical concepts, and a commitment to zero carbon emissions.”
Marta is glad that the University of Sheffield is already advanced in its sustainability efforts, because it has a Sustainability Strategy in place. But Marta says she was hoping that TUoS VC would be more involved with the Climate Commission.
The Commission works with institutions and students directly. And by the end of 2020 they will have coordinated a sector-wide response to the climate emergency that prioritises 5 areas. These are: mobilising the sector voice, research & innovation, measuring & reporting greenhouse gas emissions, deep adaptation, and student experience & education.
‘Our main task,’ says Marta, ‘is to create a sector-wide Action Plan to be used across the whole UK to make an impact.’
Recently, the student commissioners – including Marta – ran focus groups for students. Marta says the students gave ‘really interesting, thoughtful and valuable insights on how education, knowledge and learning should be re-imagined in our changing world full of complexities and uncertainties’. Grantham Scholars Phebe Linette Bonilla Prado and Vaida Suslovaite also participated in these groups.
As a result of these focus groups, the Commission has created a report. This report collates students’ opinions and insights.
Now that the report is published, it will be sent to UNESCO where the Commission hopes it will influence their policy on education. Read the report here.
The Commission is trying to engage as many students as possible. One way they do this is a survey for students about their 5 priorities. If you’re a student, fill out the survey here and help shape the climate debate.
Additionally, Students can also take part in the Climate Commission Podcast: Climate Chats with Students. The podcast gives students a chance to share their stories about their journeys with sustainability and the climate crisis. Check it out.
The main image was taken during one of the student focus groups for the UNESCO report.