The UK’s Climate Leaders are regular people who are helping tackle climate change by making greener choices every day.

In the run-up to COP26, people across the country are playing their part to tackle climate change. Here’s how your school can join them.

This pack has been made for teachers and schools to help you get involved. It is filled with ideas and tools designed to help your school be a part of the growing green momentum.

You’ll find everything you need to take part in Resources, including inspiring educational activities your students will love. Help them take part and watch them grow as Climate Leaders.

If you have any questions or feedback, email us on TogetherForOurPlanet@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

We can’t wait to meet your Climate Leaders!

ARE YOUR STUDENTS CLIMATE LEADERS?

It’s not just the familiar faces leading the way against climate change. Everyday people are going about their lives in quietly revolutionary ways – helping cut carbon emissions and making the UK and the wider world a greener place. ​

Whether it’s by recycling, composting, walking to school, using a re-usable water bottle or turning the lights off when leaving a room, thousands of people are already playing their part. These are the UK’s unexpected Climate Leaders.

Climate Leaders instinctively see the wider benefits of doing these things – that a greener way of life means a healthier population, more jobs and a sustainable future for us all.

Join us in celebrating their achievements and inspiring others to follow suit.

Surprised school children sitting in a classroom

“This generation is going to be developing renewable resources. They are very aware of what they need to do individually, and they can spread that through the community”

Melanie Winney
Geography teacher, Ormiston Venture Academy

WHAT IS COP26?

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations annual climate change conference. COP stands for Conference of the Parties. Parties are the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994 which has 197 Parties (196 countries and the EU). The 2021 conference, hosted by the UK, together with our partners Italy, in Glasgow, will be the 26th meeting of the Parties, which is why it’s called COP26.

United Nations climate change conferences are among the largest international meetings in the world. The negotiations between governments are complex and involve officials from every country in the world as well as representatives from civil society and the global news media.

What happens at a COP?

Activity at a COP takes place in two different zones – the Blue Zone and the Green Zone.

The Blue Zone is for people registered with the UN body tasked with coordinating the global response to the threat of climate change – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the Blue Zone you might be part of a national delegation, work for the United Nations and related organisations & agencies or be a member of the media or not-for-profit observer organisation.

In the Blue Zone, delegates from countries meet for both formal negotiations and informal consultations. They may also take part in meetings with other delegations to clarify their position and interests with the aim of reaching agreement or overcoming a negotiating deadlock. The UNFCCC will also host a range of events, including technical briefings, to support the negotiations process.

The Green Zone is for the general public. There will be a wide range of events, including workshops, art exhibitions and installations, as well as presentations, demonstrations of technology and musical performances for everyone to attend.

WHAT IS NET ZERO?

Net zero means finding a balance between the greenhouse gases that an individual or organisation puts into the atmosphere, and those that are ‘taken out’.

In other words, it’s making sure that for all the gases emitted, you are removing the same amount from the atmosphere, making yourself ‘carbon neutral’.

Achieving net zero is necessary if we are to tackle climate change and protect people, the planet and our natural world.

The UK has set a target of being net zero by 2050.

WHAT DOES NET ZERO MEAN FOR ME?

The first step to becoming net zero is to avoid emitting greenhouse gases in the first place. This could mean using less energy at school, walking or cycling, instead of going by car, and reducing your food waste.

The second step is to find ways to neutralise or ‘offset’ any remaining emissions that can’t be avoided, as it’s impossible to reduce emissions completely. Offsetting can be done in a variety of ways, including planting trees (which absorb excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere).

Explore our Resources page for more information on how you can get involved.