FA Students Weigh in at COP26

In mid-October, Liz Beardsley (P’27) emailed Science Department Chair Liz Klein to let her know that she would be attending the COP 26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, as part of her work with the U.S. Green Building Council. She was interested in the work Falmouth Academy was doing on climate change education and offered to connect students with the U.S. delegation. Together they decided that interested Falmouth Academy students could volunteer to compose a letter to the delegation expressing their concerns about climate change. “I wanted this to be open to the entire school community rather than just students participating in the Changing Earth course,” said Klein. 

Early this month, Klein announced the opportunity at All School Meeting, and Adele Francis ’24, Clara Athearn ’24, Benjamin Angell ’24, Amelia Russell-Schaffer ’26, and Eva Muldoon ’25 volunteered to develop a letter that would be submitted on behalf of the whole school. Students strongly advocated for an urgent response and expressed frustration at the lack of response from world leaders. ”This problem that my generation will likely inherit is so much bigger than the economy, single countries, or even humans,” said Angell. “It is a problem that affects everyone and everything.”

Klein worked with students and English teacher Monica Hough to draft an opening statement, which says:

Students from Falmouth Academy, a small independent high school on Cape Cod, are worried about climate change. They view the situation as a crisis, and their desire to work towards a better climate future is evident through their daily actions. While they can make changes in their lives and the lives of their families, they are counting on world leaders like you to stand up and take significant action to combat global climate change. Talk is just that: talk. We need action. Their future depends on you and those you will be working with at COP26. Below appear statements that they have written in response to this situation; we have also collected student signatures. We hope that when you read their words, you will commit to the positive changes they deserve.

The Falmouth Academy Community

The final draft was presented to the school community so that students and teachers could add their signatures. Beardsley picked up the letter on Friday, November 6, and delivered it to a representative of John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
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