Young people prepare for climate change Conference of Ribble Valley Schools CORVS 2

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Teenagers from schools across the region met local leaders in preparation for the second annual student climate ‘Conference of Ribble Valley Schools’.

CORVS2 is inspired by the UN’s COP events where leaders work together on solutions to tackle climate change.

Students from Bowland High School, Pleckgate High School, Ribblesdale High School and Stonyhurst College spent the afternoon at the council offices in Clitheroe with local leaders discussing the challenges posed by climate change, and making plans for CORVS 2, which will take place on June 18th at Ribblesdale High School.

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Organised by the Ribble Valley Climate Action Network (RVCAN) the pupils were joined at the council offices in Clitheroe by Ribble Valley Mayor, Coun. Mark Hindle; England’s youngest district councillor, Aaron Wilkins-Odudu; and Mara Gee and David Rawkins from RVCAN.

Pupils aged between 13 and 16 from schools across the region met local leaders in preparation for CORVS 2 this summer, the second annual student climate ‘Conference of Ribble Valley Schools’Pupils aged between 13 and 16 from schools across the region met local leaders in preparation for CORVS 2 this summer, the second annual student climate ‘Conference of Ribble Valley Schools’
Pupils aged between 13 and 16 from schools across the region met local leaders in preparation for CORVS 2 this summer, the second annual student climate ‘Conference of Ribble Valley Schools’

The Mayor said: “It was a pleasure to meet with such engaging and passionate young people. The event highlighted the leadership being shown by young people on climate change, the council’s commitment to discussing ideas and climate issues with local young people, and our hope for pupils to continue engaging with the council on developing practices and informing future policymaking.”

Couns Hindle and Wilkins-Odudu carried out a question and answer session with the pupils. Topics discussed included the possibility of the council providing financial support for households installing solar panels, the importance of maintaining Grade I and II listed buildings in a sustainable way and the recent initiatives and strategies of the council regarding recycling and sustainability.

After their session with the councillors, the pupils discussed plans for the student climate conference CORVS 2 this June. They considered the pledges pupils and staff could make; how to report back on last year’s pledges; the different speakers and workshops to be offered; the input they would like from the mayor and other councillors; a possible eco-competition; and a vegan and vegetarian menu for lunch.

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Joshua, from Ribblesdale High School, said: “It was great to meet up with fellow pupils from other schools and keep the momentum of CORVS going.”

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Last year at CORVS 1 Clitheroe Grammar School pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2028 by reducing their energy consumption and investing in a new heat pump; Stonyhurst College pledged to build bee hotels on campus to increase local biodiversity.

Mrs Helen Dakin, operations manager at Bowland High School, said: “The enthusiasm of the students to engage with climate change in a coordinated and impactful way is wonderful to see. They are approaching a hugely challenging topic with sensible, brave and achievable solutions.”

The student delegates discussed their plans for CORVS 2, including ideas such as inviting representatives from local industries — in which pollution is inevitable – to find out what they are doing to offset their emissions; how young people might engage with Ribble Valley Borough Council to promote a greener future; investigating how the issues surrounding climate change and climate justice might become embedded in the school curriculum; and campaigning for Clean Air Zones near their schools.

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Following the success of last year’s conference, the CORVS2 conference in June looks set to build on previous pledges and hopes to have ten schools present, as it seeks to continue expanding the student involvement to more schools across the region in 2024 and beyond.

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