Scottish students help spread the word on climate emergency

As one of 200 young people chosen to cover COP26 for The Herald and our sister titles, Jack Hunter – an HNC Professional Writing student at City of Glasgow College – explains why his reports greatly benefited from his participation in the Climate Solutions course.

MY name is Jack Hunter and I was one of 200 students chosen to cover the COP26 conference in partnership with The Herald, the Glasgow Times and The National newspapers.

While preparing to write about this historic event, I completed the Climate Solutions Accelerator (CSA) online course which is supported by The Herald, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) and Jump Digital.

This is a one-stop-shop course that consists of four short online modules.

The content that was of most concern to me was a three-minute video focusing on a Guatemalan farmer, who struggled to provide for his family due to frequent droughts.

Commenting on how his children were getting thinner, he said: “I was distressed because I knew my child was in danger. I could see my boy was thin and hardly eating anything.”

Another part of the course looked closely at policy and legislation tackling climate change. Rhia Wilkie, an HND student in Advertising and Public Relations, appreciated the depth of content this section contained.

She said: “It allows us access to a wealth of information about a serious issue that greatly affects all of us and allows us to develop a deeper understanding of the solutions and policies being put in place to tackle the issue of climate change. It was very informative and helped me gain more of an understanding on how the political side of things affects climate change.”

Another section focused on solutions, detailing how everyone has a role to play in developing solutions for climate change, from large to small. The course finished with frameworks that businesses can utilise.

Katie Easton, an HND student in Advertising and Public Relations commented: “This generation of students will be exiting into a job market which is rapidly shifting towards more ethical, green standards and they not only need to be prepared for this now but need to be educated in how to lead the way for future generations.”

The course also helped prepare media students such as myself for their coverage of COP26. It provided a better understanding and knowledge of the issues, and I am delighted such prestigious newspaper titles were able to benefit from the work.

Jacquie Shaw, Associate Dean for Media, CoGC said: “The next generation of media students will not just communicate our changing environment. They will be proactive in shaping not just their own work ethics and practices for climate change but will be implementing and driving the solutions across organisations and markets.”

Roy Gardner, City of Glasgow College’s Vice Principal, Corporate Development and Innovation, said: “The Climate Solutions Accelerator is an excellent programme, which undoubtedly helps raise awareness and understanding of what individuals and organisations must do to combat climate change, and The Herald is to be commended for both profiling this important educational initiative and subsidising Scottish trade bodies and associations taking part.

“City of Glasgow College is acutely aware of our own responsibilities in helping tackle the global climate emergency, which is why we have reduced our carbon footprint by 33% in the past five years and set an ambitious target to being net zero by 2040.

The college was an early signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals Accord and during COP26 we turned our Riverside campus into a global maritime hub and our City Campus into a business and science hub, successfully hosting over 100 sustainability-focused events at our multi-campus site.”

Personally, I am in no doubt that the Climate Solutions Accelerator course is essential to informing urgent action and is great for improving our environmental literacy for a greener future.

For me, the course was very insightful and enjoyable and will inform me on how to act going forward.

Most importantly, it will motivate me to better educate my friends and family to be more mindful of the impact they have on the environment, so that we can all collectively make a positive difference.

This article was first published by The Herald on 25th February 2022, republished here with permission.

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