Join us for practical tips and discussion on Earth Day

We are pleased to present two sessions at the environment-focused English UK ELT Conference on Thursday 22 April – join us on the free teachers’ day for practical tips, discussion, Q&As and to support our green ELT movement.

> Register for the free ELT Conference teachers’ day (via English UK)

In the morning, join ELTSustainable’s Owain Llewellyn and colleagues, who will share practical tips on including sustainability in everyday teaching. In the afternoon we’ll take a wider look at why and how we can create a greener ELT sector with ELT Footprint UK founder Chris Etchells. View our events page for more details.

Everyone is welcome! So please invite your colleagues and join the conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

We look forward to you joining us again soon!

Leading from within

“This is one of the most consequential decades in human history. That might sound like an exaggeration but it’s not. By 2030 either we will have reduced emissions by 50% and will be well on our way to a regenerative world where we turn things around at the last minute; or we will have begun to lose control over our climatic system and it will matter less what we do after that.” These are the words of Tom Rivett-Carnac who, alongside Christiana Figueres, helped bring about the successful Paris Agreement on climate change. But one of the problems for people aware of the reality of our situation and wishing to do something about it, is burnout. So we need to strike a balance between being in touch with what is going on, without being overwhelmed by it; and take time to come back to ourselves to find a place of centred calm from where we will develop the resilience to do the work we need to do. So says Rivett-Carnac’s life coach, Jo Confino. To learn more,  watch the two men in conversation in this fascinating discussion hosted by the Climate Coaching Alliance.

Emperor with no clothes

“Climate change is as big a threat to world peace as war,” the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, recently told the UN Security Council, as he committed the UK, host of this year’s key climate conference, COP 26, to leading the world on action. Yet the UK’s own influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) comprised of UK Members of Parliament says ministers have “no plan” to meet climate change targets, two years after setting them in law. Renowned economist Andrew Simms lays all of this bare in a brilliant article settings recent UK spending commitments in perspective: “What that leadership currently looks like is a government which announced an increase in its military spending of £16.5 billion in November 2020, and in 2020-21 spent at least £41.2 billion on the military and just £3.1 billion on reducing carbon emissions.” Strip away the green rhetoric and what lies beneath looks very much like business as usual with all its toxic legacy for our children and grandchildren.

Climate Hypocrisy ctd.

The normally impartial and reliable news from the BBC World Service last night might have been written by a government spokesperson. Leading with the news that our very own Astra Zenica vaccine has now reluctantly been adopted by the French for their older citizens (they didn’t actually use the word ‘world beating’), the bulletin finished with the news that some Australian teenagers are taking their federal government to court over a Whitehaven Coal mine, arguing that the development breaches a common law duty of care to protect young people from future harm. No mention of our very own Whitehaven, where the government has faced a barrage of criticism over its failure to prevent a new coal mine in this year of supposed climate leadership by The UK: see previous post below.

ELT publishers – are you listening?

It’s wonderful to see a printing company like Seacourt taking its responsibilities seriously and turning a business crisis into an opportunity: “Our stability as a green business has been a key factor in helping us to weather this storm. Business cannot ignore climate change and need to focus on the triple bottom line – Society – Environment – Profit.” ELT publishers – are you listening?

Curious About the Planet

Starts today. Curious About Our Planet is a 3-day virtual festival by Glasgow Science Centre that celebrates the diversity of the planet and the dangers it faces. There’s a Sustainable Cocktail Making Class (18+) event with music from Tide Lines, on Saturday 20th February at 8pm and many other activities, games, workshops and projects for all ages to enjoy.

Mad World

‘A Backwards Catastrophe’ is a BBC Radio 4 production that is part polemic, part satire, part lyrical collage. Beautifully produced, it travels in reverse through the BBC archives to trace some of the present problems and oblique antecedents of the environmental crisis. The programme rolls along to variations on and reversals of the appropriate Mad World melody. Highly recommended. The best way to escape for an undisturbed hour and really appreciate the sound experience is by using head phones.

Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Here’s a really simple and clear explanation about the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. It’s a great chance to build consensus both inside and outside parliament on a road map to an environmentally sustainable future. In a year when the UK Government seeks to persuade the rest of the world that it is serious about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, the least you can expect from your MP is that they support the bill. Here’s a letter I wrote to mine:

Dear Laurence Robertson,

As one of your constituents I am writing to ask you to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill – see https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57374/climate-and-ecological-emergency-bill.

Scientists are increasingly sounding the alarm as to the inadequacy of governmental response to this real and urgent problem. I am deeply concerned for the future of our planet and the wellbeing of my children and grandchildren.

In a year when the UK Government seeks to show the rest of the world at COP 26 that it is serious about the climate and ecological emergency, the least I can expect from you as my MP is that you support this bill.

By so doing you will help to propel action and signal to the increasing number of environmentally concerned people in this constituency that you care about their future.

Yours sincerely
Christopher Etchells

Writing to your MP is easy: just enter your postcode at https://www.writetothem.com/?a=westminstermp then follow the simple instructions. MPs really do listen to this kind of thing, so please take a few minutes out of your day to let your MP know how you feel on this vital issue.

Rethinking the future

Blot on the landscape

Good news from Cumbria where the local council has said it will reconsider the planning application for a new coal mine – see previous post. While one can sympathise with the need for employment in the area, new jobs must consider the wider climate change impacts and be environmentally sustainable. Anything else is an abdication of responsibility by the council to the long-term welfare of its residents and us all. And while the potential damage from this mine may look small compared to other mines around the world, its damaging effects will last well into the future. The time has passed for fudge, compromise and back room deals. Everyone – including local councils – needs to act now to safeguard the future. You can add your voice by signing the petition here.