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announced the winners of his Climate Kick-Start Prize, which will help five London secondary schools to pioneer environmental projects to engage young Londoners in climate action. Sadiq was recently announced as the new chair of C40 Cities, a global network of megacities committed to addressing climate change.
To coincide with Youth and Public Empowerment Day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), five schools have been awarded £10,000 each to kick-start or accelerate environmental action. Building on the Mayor of London’s collaboration with Bloomberg L.P to address climate change in the capital. The schools and their projects are:
- Forest Gate Community School (Newham)
Hot Composting and Mushroom Farming
- Francis Barber Referral Unit (Wandsworth)
Climate Change Gardens
- Hammersmith Academy (Hammersmith and Fulham)
Healthy Food Outdoor Kitchen
- Pinner High School (Harrow)
Sustainable Bike Storage and Skills
- Riverside Bridge School (Barking and Dagenham)
Solar Powered Rainwater Harvesting
Prize winners were announced at a star-studded ceremony at the Barbican, hosted by the Mayor and TV presenter, Paralympian and climate activist, Ade Adepitan MBE. Prizes at the event were presented by celebrity climate ambassadors, including BBC Radio 1’s Vick Hope, Olympic BMX champion Beth Schriever, BAFTA winning TV presenter Mehreen Baig and ‘The White Queen’ and ‘Victoria’ actor David Oakes.
The Mayor addressed students at the event about their role in tackling some of our planet’s biggest threats – climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, air pollution and single-use plastics, as well as what governments and businesses need to do to help accelerate climate action.
Sadiq also announced a new £1.5 million Climate Resilient Schools Programme which will see City Hall, the Department for Education and Thames Water working together to enhance the climate resilience of up to 100 schools. Using data from the Department for Education and the Mayor’s Climate Risk Map, the funding will prioritise schools that are at highest risk of surface water flooding and support:
- Water-efficiency improvements (led by Thames Water).
- Sustainable drainage rain planters to make playgrounds greener and more biodiverse and reduce surface water flood risk.
- Bespoke climate adaptation plans.
- Development of climate resilience education resources.
Today’s event rounds off a week of hands-on activities, which saw thousands of young people in London take action to help protect the environment. This included a clean-tech careers taster session hosted by the Royal Institution, a tree planting day hosted by The Conservation Volunteers, a sustainable fashion workshop with the London College of Fashion, and a pedal-powered activity day hosted by Sustrans.
It also coincided with the Youth and Public Empowerment Day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) – giving students at London’s schools the chance to make an impact during this important time of environmental action.
The project is backed by a host of exciting partners, including Bloomberg and Let’s Go Zero 2030, and supported by the London Schools Climate Summit.
The Climate Kick-Start further supports the work the Mayor is already doing to help young Londoners impacted by the consequences of climate change and air pollution. This includes:
· Grow Back Greener Grants – £1.2m in funding to support community projects to improve access to green spaces and make London more resilient to a changing climate, focusing on areas where it is most needed.
· Schools and Early Years Climate Change guidance – Advice for London schools and early years settings to help young Londoners better prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including overheating and flood risk.
· London Community Energy Fund – Grant funding to support green community energy projects, such as solar panels on schools and GP surgeries.
· Schools Air Quality Audit Programme and Pollution Helpdesk – Audits of primary schools in London’s most polluted areas and funding to help schools take action, such as schemes to prevent ‘engine idling’ outside school gates. The London Schools Pollution Helpdesk supports schools across the city to carry out air quality audits and implement recommendations.
· Breathe London – With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, this is a network of air pollution sensors installed at hospitals, schools and in local communities to measure pollution locally, producing real-time air quality data that Londoners can access.
· School streets – With funding from TfL and support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, roads surrounding schools are closed to motor traffic at drop-off and pick-up times, enabling children to walk or cycle to school, reducing car trips and improving air quality. TfL’s STARS programme engages 15,000 schools, nurseries and colleges in promoting active travel through educating and awarding accreditations.
· Generation Earthshot – With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Earthshot Prize’s Global Alliance Network, Generation Earthshot will help teachers around the world nurture and channel the innate optimism and creativity of young people towards solving our biggest environmental challenges. The inaugural Earthshot Prize ceremony was hosted at the iconic Alexandra Palace in London in October.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “In London, we’re taking bold action to tackle the twin dangers of air pollution and the climate crisis. As part of this, I’m pleased to announce the Climate Kick-Start prize winners, who will be able to use the prize money to not only deliver a range of innovative projects to take vital environmental action in their schools, but to inspire other young Londoners to get involved in climate action.