Open Letter to Richard Bacon MP – Invitation to the Big Climate Teach-in for MPs

Dear Richard Bacon MP,

I am writing as a constituent, and a teacher, concerned about the impact of climate change on me, my family, my students and the wider community. As an educator, safeguarding young people is core and key to all the work that I do. Combining this with my deep knowledge of climate change issues (I have worked with climate scientists both here in the UK and in the USA), I strongly believe that climate change is a safeguarding issue. The Geographical Association recently published an article I wrote that sets out an argument that now is the time, for instance, for climate change to have its own focus in school safeguarding policy, and to go beyond just tentatively linking issues such as eco-anxiety to official mental health guidance for schools. The probability that each of us will teach students who are directly impacted by events attributable to climate change is increasing, whether it is the loss of a stable home due to flooding, or indeed the mental-health impacts. The article cites robust scientific evidence attesting to these. If you would like me to send you a copy of the article, I would be delighted to do so.

I am part of a broad coalition of educators, operating from all regions of the UK, under the hashtag #TeachersForClimateAction. We are passionate about the need for climate education and are keen to better communicate this with our local representatives. With this in mind, I would like you to join me for a one-hour climate classroom on Friday 16th April from 10.30am-11.30am.

During the session, our speakers, which include teachers and campaigners, will provide 10 minute, short, sharp presentations around five key aspects of the climate crisis. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience some of the content we share with our students first hand and to hear about why teachers believe that climate education needs to be prioritised in 2021 and beyond.

It is clear from your voting record that you have the capacity to appreciate the need for climate action. Voting to reform the energy market with regard to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, securing supply, affordability for consumers and increasing generation from renewable sources, in 2013, is one such example. Although your support with such efforts are very welcome, we all need to collectively go further and harder. Circling back around to the issue of safeguarding, I’m sure that you are keenly dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of your constituents as I am to safeguarding the well-being of children, especially given the increasing evidence that extreme weather events due to climate change are having an impact on our lives here in South Norfolk.

We have been supporting our students learning throughout this pandemic, and will continue to do so. However, we are concerned about their future beyond covid-19. As my local representative, it would be fantastic if you would attend the session with me to learn more about what ‘climate education’ encompasses and to begin a forward thinking conversation between teachers and MPs around climate change education.

Please follow the link below to register:

After you’ve registered, it would be great if you could tell other MPs and constituents that you’re attending by tweeting your support for the event! You can find some draft social media posts here.

I look forward to seeing you on Friday 16th April.

Kind regards,

Kit Rackley

<Address in the South Norfolk constituency>

Invite your MP to the Big Climate Teach-In for MPs here

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