At Channing School we have officially declared a climate emergency.

By doing so we are recognising formally that climate change is a serious threat to the world, and this declaration commits us to act quickly to mitigate some of the consequences which we are already seeing.

Declaring a climate emergency is no small undertaking and this announcement follows many months of discussion and planning, triggered by our eco reps watching COP27 on the news and desperately wanting to be part of the solution.

The sixth form sustainability officers and eco reps in younger years hosted discussions right across the school, ultimately taking their case to the school governors. 

We recognise the human causes and global consequences of climate change and are making a practical commitment to put environmental issues high up the agenda across a range of different areas in the school. 

Ham & High: Mrs Lindsey Hughes says Channing School has officially declared a Climate Emergency (Image: Channing School)Mrs Lindsey Hughes says Channing School has officially declared a Climate Emergency (Image: Channing School) (Image: Channing School)

We know it is going to, and already is, affecting all our futures and we want to be part of the solution rather than the problem: in our small part of north London, we want to make a difference.

We are immensely proud of the way in which Channing students are once again demonstrating their ability to influence for good and make a deep and lasting impact on the world. 

Last term we made good progress towards making Channing a more sustainable environment.

We launched our Walk to School Day clean air competition, planted bee friendly flowers, improved our recycling system at school and a number of other sustainable endeavours.

All these initiatives enabled us to achieve our Green Flag award, which recognises Channing’s accomplishments in completing a number of eco-challenges.

There’s plenty more work to be done this year, much of which will be focused around our sustainability week from November 27 to December 1.

This will coincide with COP28 and we hope to mark the occasion by publishing the calculation of Channing’s carbon footprint to better understand how we can begin reducing our carbon emissions at Channing on a journey to net zero. 

We acknowledge that climate change is not the only environmental problem and that waste, litter, air pollution, plastic pollution, loss of biodiversity and deforestation all interlink with climate change. 

We know that beyond the day-to-day practicalities there is a lot of hard work ahead. We invite you to join us in supporting local and national initiatives to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint - after all there’s no Planet B.

To hear more about the school’s commitment to sustainability, listen to the latest episode of Chatting With Channing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or at:

  • Mrs Lindsey Hughes is headmistress of Channing School in Highgate.