This is a hugely important year for global action on climate change and equally for InterClimate Network (ICN). As we step up our activity in the run-up to COP26, I wanted to update you on our strategy refresh, “theory of change”, and programme of activities for 2021.

Few good things have come from the pandemic, but the #build-back(or forward!)-better momentum has been one of them. The delay to COP26 has also given us more time to develop online resources and build on relationships with partner organisations so that we can maximise the opportunities for young people to be part of the COP.

James Streeter, Executive Chairman of InterClimate Network (ICN).

In January, the ICN team gathered (in a Zoom room, of course) to refresh our strategy. ICN was formed in 2008 and shortly after we ran our first Model Climate Conference. The awareness of climate change has increased enormously since then, so our strategy refresh concentrated on shifting some of our focus away from raising awareness and towards embedding the growing consciousness of climate change into life and career choices. 

Our updated Theory of Change

By working through a Theory of Change model we enunciated our long-term goal and worked out the most effective ways of reaching it:

“Youth are empowered and enabled to lead, advocate and take action on environmentally sustainable behaviours, career choices, and societal change.”

The long-term change which we see as our goal

The addition of “career choices” is not entirely new to ICN but builds on our previous work as founding partners of Your Green Future (the green careers events) and fits with the direction of travel of the climate change movement, towards the green, low carbon economy.

Our programme for 2021

We have a fantastic programme planned for this year and have spent the lockdown adapting our activities:

  • Our new COP26 resource has everything needed for UN-style climate negotiations to bring this critical global debate to life in school. Please do pass on this flier link to any contacts who might be interested.
  • ICN’s innovative Climate Action Survey is run online with students taking a lead role and is already providing rich insights as a springboard to taking climate action in school (example of one school’s survey).  We are now looking for volunteers to help support more schools.
  • We led a virtual summit session for Solihull secondary schools and are now convening monthly twilight Climate Action meetings for all interested in stepping up action this year. Contact Michila for more details.
  • ICN ran our first online Model Climate Conference in Liverpool in December in partnership with Liverpool World Centre and received excellent feedback from students and teachers.
  • We are also partnering with Liverpool World Centre on an Erasmus+ programme, International Climate Action Network (I-CAN), which draws together educators (France, Hungary, Italy and the UK) seeking to engage school children to think critically about climate change, collaborate sustainably and act justly.
  • We are pleased to have forged a partnership with Size of Wales including strong collaborations in the lead up to and at COP26. 
  • Recently we have started to make plans with Community Inspired – an educational publishing enterprise that has a reach to over 15,000 schools across the UK – to create an “incubator” project that inspires young people to develop a climate sustainable business idea.

With our great team at ICN and working in partnership with some first-class organisations, we are looking forward to helping young people across the country make an impact at COP26 and beyond.