Climate Pledges at Gateshead School

Published Wednesday, 26th July 2023
By Helen Aitchison

Children at a Gateshead school have been making climate pledges as part of their summer fair this year.

Making climate pledges at Oakfield Junior and Infants School are (L-R) Dorothy Renwick, Prim Renwick and Emmett Booth. Credit: Oakfield Infant and Junior Schools.

The children at the Oakfield Infant and Junior Schools were given five different options for making pledges – all tailored to parts of their school day.

The children made dozens of climate pledges at the fair - the most popular was to eat snacks which use less packaging. Second place was to plant something and help it to grow. Third was to walk or wheel to school twice a week - no idle pledge for children who attend a school like Oakfield which is on quite a steep hill.

The climate pledges form part of Gateshead Council's climate strategy which asks everyone who lives or works in the borough to make their own climate pledge, to help make Gateshead net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.

Esme McLachlan, aged 6, said "Making a climate pledge is important because we all have to help. I am going to use my scooter and bike more, instead of going in the car."

Esme McLachlan, aged 6 from Oakfield Infant and Junior Schools, makes her climate pledge with Lucy Greenfield, climate change team leader at Gateshead Council. Credit: Oakfield Infant and Junior Schools

Dorothy Renwick, aged 7, promised to choose snacks with less packaging.

She said: "We can make sure our world is a better place and we don't use that much plastic."

Her sister, Prim Renwick, aged 10, chose the pledge that promised to choose the meat free option at school lunch twice a week.

She said: "It's better for the environment, and it will help change the world a bit. I will also use more recyclable things."

Emmett Booth, aged 7, chose the pledge about walking or wheeling to school.

He said: "It produces less fumes, less pollution." He also said he would choose snacks with less packaging, "Things with less plastic, and they use cardboard instead."

Making climate pledges at Oakfield Junior and Infants School are (L-R) Dorothy Renwick, Prim Renwick and Emmett Booth. Credit: Oakfield Infant and Junior Schools.

Councillor John McElroy, cabinet member for the environment and transport at Gateshead Council, was really impressed with the way children at Oakfield got involvd in making climate pledges.

He said: "The council is asking people right across Gateshead to commit to making a climate pledge, and it's brilliant that so many children at Oakfield want to get involved. Our climate change strategy is all about getting the whole community involved, so we're encouraging every resident of Gateshead, young and old, and everyone who works in the borough, to pledge what they can do to help tackle the climate crisis.

If you are inspired by the Oakfield children and want to make your own climate pledge, go to and tell us what you will do to help tackle the climate crisis.

You can read more about Gateshead's work to tackle the climate crisis at Climate change in Gateshead - Gateshead Council

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