Sustainable St Albans Week sends message on climate change to Paris conference

Mike Wilkins and his wife Caroline, 48, and two children, Thomas, 16 and Miranda, 15, at the Eiffel

Mike Wilkins and his wife Caroline, 48, and two children, Thomas, 16 and Miranda, 15, at the Eiffel Tower with postcards - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of local schoolchildren were given a voice at the Global Climate Change conference in Paris thanks to Sustainable St Albans Week.

A Postcards to Paris project gave over 2,000 local residents including 1,700 schoolchildren, a chance to write their messages about climate change to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Environment and Climate Change who is part of the UK delegation at the conference.

They were personally delivered to the UK contingent by Mike Wilkins, a local resident who attended the conference.

The children designed and drew their own cards and wrote messages expressing their hopes for the climate conference including such sentiments as “I wish I could make a big difference but I can’t. You can,” and “I may be small but you are big so go on save us, do all you can”.

Ex primary school teacher Clare Henry, who worked with 31 local schools, ranging from nursery to secondary, to distribute the cards and engage the children, said: “It was inspiring to read the powerful messages that children wrote.”

More than 70 public events were held during Sustainable St Albans Week with 21 additional community-based activities in schools and churches.

As well as support from businesses, community and faith groups, over 2,000 schoolchildren in 27 schools took part through curriculum activiies focusing on aspects of sustainability, from a Paper-Free day at Abbey Primary to a week’s focus on water and wildlife at Redbourn Nursery and Infant School and a Planet Protection programme at the Samuel Ryder Academy.

Most Read

The final event was a talk on Creating a Future Sustainable District by Tim Pryce, head of public sector at The Carbon Trust.

He said St Albans needed a city climate plan which should include a climate risk assessment and climate adaptation plan.

Ideas for future development included low carbon district-wide projects which engaged residents in the development of local energy schemes, sustainable procurement and retrofit for buildings to reduce energy use in households.

Catherine Ross, chairperson of Sustainable St Albans Week, said “We are delighted with the engagement of the community across the district. Over 1500 people got involved in events and activities in St Albans, Redbourn, Harpenden and Sandridge.

“There was a real buzz about it and engagement with the environment in lots of different ways. This wide community involvement is one important step towards creating a more sustainable district together.”