News COP26 Week 2 12.11.2021

As COP26 draws to a close today in Glasgow, we now watch to see if the politicians and policymakers who attended the two-week conference will follow through on their promises.

Over the past two weeks at Godolphin and Latymer, we have also been taking part in a range of profound and productive conversations about climate change and global warming across the world, but also here at school. This week, as part of the COP26 Film Festival we have been watching the documentary Kiss The Ground. This documentary focuses on how important soil and regenerative agriculture is in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere; It’s not just deforestation that is important, but also ensuring the soils are healthy enough to act as giant sponges for capturing carbon. A lot has been learnt that we can apply to our management of the G&L Allotment and for those of us that grow our own plants and vegetables at home too.

Another highlight this week was the talk given by Ingrid on CFCs – The Emissions We Eliminated. CFCs are an extremely potent greenhouse gas, which most of us probably know as the gas that causes the ozone layer to thin. The problem with CFCs was identified in the 1980s and governments across the world made an effort to ban them. Ingrid’s talk focused on lessons that have been learnt from the successful management of CFCs in the atmosphere, and asked the question of whether we could make the same positive change for other greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide.

On Tuesday, Mrs Lee ran a mindfulness workshop focused on eco-anxiety. The last two weeks have certainly heightened eco-anxiety for many of us, as our daily news has been dominated by the world’s ecological problems. This workshop focused on identifying management strategies for eco-anxiety and on feeling positive when things can often seem very negative. Mindfulness workshops run every Tuesday, and if eco-anxiety, or other anxieties, ever become too much, our students can make use of Mrs Lee’s extremely useful workshops.

To close out our two-week programme of events for COP26, on Friday, we welcomed Emily Tulloh, the Climate Emergency Community Outreach Coordinator from Hammersmith and Fulham council, who gave a talk in the Bishop Centre on the climate emergency in Hammersmith and Fulham. Emily’s emotive talk highlighted that our borough is at significant risk of the effects of climate change, particularly flooding. Most of our borough lies in the flood risk zone, and this summer many of the residents of Hammersmith and Fulham saw extensive flooding after periods of intense rain. This is set to continue unless we make some significant changes. Emily outlined the H&F 2030: Climate and Ecology Strategy, a plan which will help eliminate emissions from homes, transport and products, by focusing on protecting nature and engaging local people in helping make these decisions. Emily’s session ended with an opportunity for students to submit their questions and ideas on how to make H&F more sustainable and our students had plenty of suggestions! As Emily said, “it is fantastic to see how engaged and passionate the students are about solving the issues of climate change and how keen they are to share their ideas.”  It was great to hear all about what the council is doing, and it provided real inspiration for what we could be doing, as individuals and also as a school community.  More information can be found on the council’s website.

Thank you to all who have helped with our COP26 programme of events, the catering team, the library, the communications team, Mrs Lee, the clubs and societies that have run sessions, and all of those who attended our events and, of course, Miss Graham and the Sustainability Committee who masterminded the whole event. We have had some extremely productive and insightful conversations this week, and we hope that this has inspired us all to make sustainability a key part of our day to day lives.