2 October 2023
By declaring a climate emergency at Channing the School recognises that climate change is a serious threat to the world and commits to act quickly to mitigate some of the consequences. Channing students and staff are announcing that, in their small part of North London, they want to make a difference. They have heeded calls to action from the likes of Sir David Attenborough: “We’re at a tipping point… If we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies. We’re running out of time, but there’s still hope” and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: “Now we know what must be done… by everybody, everywhere, every single day, doing everything we possibly can.”
Mrs Lindsey Hughes, Headmistress at Channing, comments, “This announcement is the culmination of many months of student-led discussion and planning after our Eco Reps watched COP27 on the news and desperately wanted to be part of the solution. The Sixth Form Sustainability Officers and Eco Reps in younger years hosted discussions right across the school, ultimately taking their case to the School Governors. Declaring a Climate Emergency is both recognition of the human causes and global consequences of climate change and a practical commitment to put environmental issues high up the agenda across a range of different areas in the School. We know it is going to, and already is, affecting all our futures and Channing wants to be part of the solution rather than the problem. I am immensely proud of the way in which Channing students are once again demonstrating their ability to influence for good and make a deep and lasting impact on the world. I hope that we can all make a difference with our mindful and committed response to the climate crisis.”
The School acknowledges that climate change is not the only environmental problem, and that waste, litter, air pollution, plastic pollution, loss of biodiversity and deforestation all interlink with climate change. This is beautifully articulated in the Channing Climate Tree, which has been designed by the Senior School Eco Reps. The trunk is the summary statement: Channing: Growing Greener, Braver and More Aware. The leaves show the different interconnected areas of school life where they are focusing their attention.