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The 2022 Conference: Carbon Net Zero

On Monday 27th June, Kingshill School and Deer Park School students attended the Cirencester Bathurst Climate Change Conference at the new Gloucestershire Digital Skills Centre at Cirencester College.

The conference was convened by the Cirencester and the City of Bathurst Friendship Initiative and was presented by former College student Harry Janssen, now a member of the Friendship Initiative. The Initiative was established in 2017 by the 9th Earl Bathurst to promote awareness, communication, and opportunities between the people and organisations of Cirencester and the City of Bathurst.

The conference got the students thinking about important climate change issues outside the typical school lesson format. This year’s conference focused on carbon net zero, specifically asking, “Australia aims to achieve carbon net zero by 2050. Should they aim to achieve this sooner?”

In teams—and with the help of A-level geography students—the students spent the morning researching how Australia’s agricultural, mining, and energy industries are impacted by climate change. In the afternoon, the students were grouped with members of the other teams, where they had to present the research they had found and decide whether Australia could aim to achieve carbon net zero before 2050.

Overall, the students found that Australia should aim to achieve carbon net zero sooner. However, this would require a vast amount of work and be costly. Therefore, from a practical point of view, it is unlikely that Australia would be able to achieve this sooner. However, they should continue to reduce carbon emissions where possible.

“The students took the premise of the conference and ran with it. It was great to see them collaborating enthusiastically and researching the important issues that climate change is presenting.” – Harry Janssen.

By completing the conference, students demonstrated their problem solving, teamwork, digital skills, and an awareness of social responsibility towards climate change. The students were awarded certificates signed by the Earl Bathurst to celebrate their achievements.

To find out more about the Friendship Initiative visit Cirencester Local Information Centre, Bingham House, GL7 2PP or visit www.cirencesterbathurst.org.