As the world turns its eyes to the climate change summit, QE boys play their part in tackling the burning issue of our time

As the world turns its eyes to the climate change summit, QE boys play their part in tackling the burning issue of our time

Two of QE’s Sixth Form climate change champions have been invited to take part in next month’s crucial COP26 global summit in Glasgow.

Their invitation to join the London Schools Eco Network (LSEN) delegation follows successful campaigning by the three QE Year 12 eco-ambassadors at an inter-schools conference.

And that event so inspired the trio that they are also helping to organise their own mock summit at QE next month to give the School’s pupils an opportunity to make their voices heard just as world leaders are gathering in Scotland.

The Eco Ambassadors – Toma Gelsinov, Rahul Doshi and Amogh Bhartia – were each tasked with representing another country at the mock COP26 summit hosted by St Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith, which involved QE and 12 other schools.

Technology teacher and and Extra-curricular Enrichment Tutor Stephanie Tomlinson, who leads QE’s Green Council alongside the three sixth-formers, said: “Our Eco Ambassadors were fantastic; they spoke in front of around 50 young people across the LSEN representing their various country delegations on the intricacies of climate change by proposing an ambitious global action plan.

“I was stunned by their powerful and clear performance.”

Teams comprising pupils from different schools acted as country representatives. Rahul and his team represented Saudi Arabia, whilst Toma and Amogh spoke for India. Schools taking part included South Hampstead High School, City of London School for Boys, Harrow School, North London Collegiate School and London Academy for Excellence.

The agenda included opening statements from the country delegations, a debate to encourage more global ambition and, finally, agreement of collaborations for more action.

The evening placed a heavy emphasis on cooperation, collaboration and, most of all, negotiation – all underpinned by an understanding of the urgency of the issues involved.

“Even after meeting the targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement, the average rise in temperature will still be above the target. COP26 in Glasgow is, therefore, a vital world conference,” said Miss Tomlinson.

The inter-schools conference concluded with votes on two questions, as follows:

  1. Is sufficient progress being made on all country emission targets. Delegates voted no unanimously.
  2. Is your country willing to do more even beyond your current targets? This elicited a more mixed response.

QE’s own sustainability ambitions received a fillip last year with the establishment of the QE Eco Network, from which two student ambassadors, Christan Emmanuel and Aadarsh Khimasia, joined the LSEN. Their three successors this year, Toma, Rahul and Amogh, were selected from Year 12 through an application process.

The Green Council, newly formed in 2021, involves representatives from forms in Years 7-10 whose ambition it is to raise awareness and create an action plan for QE to become more sustainable and eco-friendly. Members from Years 7 & 8 are known as Eco Warriors, while those from Years 9 & 10 are Eco Representatives.

“Pupils were selected through an application process by their form tutor – we were thrilled with the sheer quantity of responses. This highlighted how much our pupils care,” added Miss Tomlinson.

“I am thrilled with the response to the Eco Network and establishment of the Green Council. As we look towards the rest of the 2020s, it is ever more important to take action. Our pupils are the driving force for that change.”

While Toma takes up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to the Glasgow summit (with Rahul participating within the home-based team), the Green Council is preparing for QE’s mock summit, which will involve Years 7-10.