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Campaigning and lobbying

Join our campaign for greener inspection criteria

Every four years, the British Council refreshes their inspection criteria for English language teaching centres in the UK. This year, for the first time, they are inviting input from all accredited members. Let’s push for the first ever inclusion of environmental action and responsibility in the Accreditation UK scheme.

We are suggesting two new management criteria:

• Accredited language centres have an environmental policy;
• Any marketing claims made to environmental commitments should be accurate and supported by evidence.

If you agree and you are participating in the survey, use our suggested text below in your submission.

The first requirement will help embed environmental responsibility across our sector, while acknowledging that different centres are at different stages in their response. Putting an environmental policy in place will give all types of language centre the chance to consider what steps they can reasonably take to reduce their negative impact.

The second offers important protection against greenwashing – falsely marketing a language school as ‘greener’ than it is. As customers are increasingly prioritising sustainable businesses, we must ensure our sector communicates honestly about environmental action in marketing and publicity.

These new criteria will help give our sector’s environmental impact the status it needs.

Together they not only acknowledge the environmental crisis but also set the foundation for action, helping to prepare our sector for change, potential new regulation as the government moves to meet climate change commitments, as well as protecting students against false advertising.

If your school is recognised by Accredited UK, we encourage you to include a call for these two new environmental criteria when you complete the survey. We have included suggested text and sections for submission below.

This is the perfect opportunity to push for real change in our sector. So please share this call to action across your networks! #GreenELT

Suggested text

Strategic and quality management M1-M7 section:

Our organisation believes that the scheme should require accredited language centres to have an environmental policy in order to embed environmental responsibility across our sector.

Publicity M22-M29 section:

Our organisation believes that the scheme should require that any marketing claims made by accredited language centres with regards to environment commitments are accurate and supported by evidence to prevent greenwashing.

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Campaigning and lobbying

Act Now

Today is Friday and for many young people around the world that means Fridays for Future, the youth movement started by a young girl sitting alone outside the Swedish parliament.

Greta was soon joined by others and today let’s celebrate youth activists at COP 26 and everywhere who have courageously stepped up to hold their elders to account for the future of the planet: people like Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Dominika Lasota and Vanessa Nakate.

You can support them right now by joining the nearly 1.7 million people who have signed their Emergency Appeal for Climate Action.

But don’t stop there! You can make changes in your daily life that, multiplied by millions of other people, will add up to a huge difference. You can also help influence your family, your school, your community or – like ELT Footprint UK – your profession.

As Greta says, “As citizens across the planet, we urge you to face up to the climate emergency. Not next year. Not next month. Now”

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Campaigning and lobbying Politics

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.

Categories
Campaigning and lobbying Politics

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.

Categories
Campaigning and lobbying Politics

UK Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Congratulations to the 95 Members of the UK Parliament who have already expressed their support for the UK’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.

This is a cross-party bill written by scientists, lawyers and activists. It aims to persuade government of its overriding responsibility to take action on climate change.

This year the UK government wants to prove its environmental credentials to the world at COP 26 in Glasgow so this is a good time to gather support for real action.

Please tell your MP how important the climate and ecological emergency is to you and ask your MP to support the bill.

Categories
Campaigning and lobbying Politics

Mock COP 26

Great publicity on the UK’s Channel 4 news the other day for the young people engaged in Mock COP, an international youth-led climate conference, mobilising around the postponement of COP26. Tune in on You Tube at midday UTC tomorrow (Tuesday 1 December) for the live closing ceremony and global statement.

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