As George Osborne delivered the Spring Budget statement earlier this week I was taken back to a year ago when we launched the Youth for Green Jobs campaign on Spring Budget day 2012. Osborne’s stagnant story hasn’t changed – unemployment has risen for the first time in twelve months to over 2.5 million and he’s still declaring his love for the gas industry through tax breaks. To paraphrase Friends of the Earth, “There isn’t much green in that red box”.
But – if I do say so myself – our story has been much more dynamic, helping to change things for the better. In the past year we have:
- Toured the country on the climate jobs caravan;
- Sat on a panel with Secretary of State Ed Davey;
- Met young people to talk about Green Jobs;
- Run creative training workshops;
- Held action days across the country, from Huddersfield to Norwich
- And worked with our friends from the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition to lobby MPs to vote for a Green Jobs generating target in the upcoming Energy Bill. Get on board and email your MP here to ask them to vote for the Green Jobs amendment to the Bill, which would help guarantee investment in the renewables sector to trigger job creation.
Green Education: the foundation of Green Jobs
Most recently we’ve been getting back to basics, to the foundation that underpins all Green Jobs: Green Education. The Government is attempting to remove climate change from the geography curriculum for under 14s. This won’t prohibit teachers from talking about climate change but, worryingly, it means they could leave it out, something the curriculum currently prevents.
If the door to debate is not open to young people – the very people who will bear the impacts of climate change and the decisions of the current Government – we risk choking their knowledge, skills and inspiration to work towards a clean, fair future.
To help prevent the unjust and dangerous removal of climate change from the curriculum, sign secondary school student and UKYCC local catalyst Esha’s Marwaha’s petition to Education Minister Michael Gove. We have reached over 20,000 signatures in a week – be the next one to sign!