Farnborough Hill Student Adds Voice to Global Climate Discussions at COP26

Farnborough Hill Student Adds Voice to Global Climate Discussions at COP26

As world leaders come together in Glasgow, Scotland, to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Farnborough Hill community is ‘extraordinarily proud’ to be represented at this ‘vitally important global event’ by one of its own students.

Sixth former Renée will be reciting her poem ‘a united solution’ during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday 6 November 2021.

Renée’s poem was commended at the international competition ‘Poems to Solve the Climate Crisis Challenge’, the fourth partnership between The Poetry Society’s global Young Poets Network and People Need Nature. The Challenge asked young poets to respond to the UK’s COP26 Presidency Theme of Nature. The Poetry Society’s earlier press release can be found here.

Renée described her participation in the event as ‘an exciting opportunity’ to speak out against climate injustice and to add her voice to the discussions. She hopes that her poem will encourage people to think about how climate change ‘affects people disproportionately’ around the world.

Renée asserted: ‘Awareness has been raised, but we need to see immediate change. Climate change is an imminent threat and there are things we can do really quickly. The theme of this poetry competition really resonated with me.’

Renée has always enjoyed writing but her love for poetry emerged as she began studying towards English Literature at GCSE. Praising her teachers, Renée commented: ‘There is a great English Department at Farnborough Hill, and the teachers have encouraged my love of poetry. They are always willing and available to have any conversation about literature.’

Farnborough Hill Head, Mrs Alexandra Neil, paid tribute to Renée saying: ‘We are extraordinarily proud of Renée’s achievement. We are thrilled that she has earned this tremendous opportunity to add her voice to the crucial discussions taking place during this vitally important global event. Renée has our wholehearted support.’

Renée’s poem can be found in full below:

‘a united solution’

the solution isn’t ‘go green’.
rather, it’s quite a marshy brown;
all the colours on the spectrum thrust together,
pulled into braided harmony.

might the sagging glaciers of the himalayas, dribbling into the yangtze and the indus,
be nourished with kitschy korean neoprene?
those gutsy, ebullient women divers; grasping cold abalone.

the waning coral reefs
crumbling into chroma before your eyes –
your child’s eyes
might they be galvanized by ghanaian manganese,
buzzing phone-chip’s life and breath?

it’s coalition we need; london’s taxis fueling lima’s arid faucets,
china’s offal coursing through phones rather than waters,
tit-for-tat, recycling, redistribution –
and if everyone made some contribution
today’s teetering future might be solid, stuck

here’s a prayer for humanity and good luck.