Climate champs

Climate champs

Students share what they learned from a week-long environmental camp on the mainland

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Climate Champions from the British Council's Climate Change programme Lauren Engel (left) and Heidi Au Yeung.
Climate Champions from the British Council's Climate Change programme Lauren Engel (left) and Heidi Au Yeung.
Photo: Edmond So
When Heidi Au Yeung saw the movie An Inconvenient Truth, she took away a lesson. 'I want to be actively engaged in saving the environment,' said the 14-year-old, who is studying at West Island School.

Heidi joined the 2010 Climate Champions Camp, which is part of British Council's Climate Generation project. This year, 150 students from Hong Kong and major mainland cities such as Beijing, Tianjin and Hangzhou were selected for the project as Climate Champions.

The students are learning about climate change and possible solutions to it focused on low-carbon cities. During a week-long camp, from August 5 to 13 in Hangzhou, students talked with green experts and took part in workshops on climate change, behavioural change and creative communication skills.

'What we are trying to do is to teach skills and ways of thinking that are traditionally not taught in schools, and to apply them to solving the climate crisis,' said Sophia Chan-Combrink, education manager (schools and science) of the British Council, Hong Kong.

'Climate change issues ... require co-operation and collaboration from people from all sectors of society, [including] scientists, policy makers, economists or artists.'

Heidi said: 'It was exciting to meet architects ... and get to see how they used turbines to generate power and designed buildings in a way to allow natural light and heat insulation.'

Fellow Climate Champion Lauren Engel, from Island School, said: "It's very interesting to see how different places are looking for solutions unique to their environment. Like in the city of Ningbo , the biggest concern ... is the conservation of water. So that team looked into ways to solving that problem.'

The challenge did not end at the camp. All students took their proposals home to implement them. They also need to submit mid-year and final reports to the British Council for assessment.

'I will recruit students from the school's environmental team to cut down their own electricity bills at home, and to do less shopping and buy from second-hand shops and purchase durable goods whenever possible,' Lauren said.

Heidi's plan is for her school. 'I will write to the principal to suggest installing a solar panel on the roof of the school building. I'll also suggest changing our school turf to real grass,' she said.

Enter the Get-It-Green competition for a place in next year's Climate Champions Camp. Learn more

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