Global Citizenship – Energy is the seventh theme in the Green-Schools Programme; it is a maintenance theme which revisits your school’s efforts on the Energy theme while expanding to look at energy and climate issues worldwide.
What is Global Citizenship?
We all have some idea about what citizenship means but the term can be described in a few different contexts:
- The first, and most widely accepted, definition is in a political and legal context where ‘citizenship’ is used to explain that someone is a member of a political community or state where the citizen has certain rights and responsibilities that are defined in the laws of this community or state. For example, most of us are citizens of Ireland and, among many other things this means that we have the right to vote and the right to free speech. However, we also have the responsibilities that come with being a citizen, such as the responsibility to pay our taxes and to obey the criminal laws enacted by the government. We are also European and Global citizens.
- Citizenship does not only refer to our rights and responsibilities that are laid down in law but it is also refers to our social and moral behaviour. As a citizen of a community or state, you are expected to exercise your rights and respect the rights of others and you are encouraged to participate in the improvement of the quality of both political and civic life in your community and/or state. This is often referred to as active citizenship, where direct democratic participation and feelings of responsibility for own community is encouraged.
In the last theme, Global Citizenship – Litter & Waste, we asked schools to revisit the first theme of Litter & Waste. This time we are asking you to look at Global Citizenship in relation to Energy. We will be asking you to review your energy use in the school and look for potential to reduce this even further, but we also want schools to add a global dimension to this theme.
The most obvious global link to the Energy theme is Climate Change as this, the most serious environmental problem of our time, is intrinsically linked to energy use. The problems associated with Climate Change are vast, and they impact both the environment and people all over the globe, in particular people in developing countries.
Due to its global nature, the consequences of climate change are profound and far reaching and impact on every aspect of life on earth. Some of the potential impacts of climate change are:
- Changes in rainfall patterns
- Sea level rises
- An increase in droughts
- Habitat loss
- Heat stress
- The number and intensity of extreme weather events
- Decline in farming productivity
To successfully implement the Green-Schools programme for Global Citizenship – Energy you will be expected to establish the seven steps of the programme as described in the Green-Schools Handbook and to have made progress in reaching the targets you set in relation to the Global Citizenship – Energy theme.
Actions and targets for Global Citizenship Energy should be focused around:
- Raising awareness on how looking after our environment aids people all over the world
- Promoting and facilitating ‘Active Citizenship’
- Integrating the Global Citizenship – Energy ethos into your wider Green-Schools programme
- Making an improvement in the energy management in your school