Mumbai Schools Inspired by Sweden, Begin Journey to Zero out Carbon

Mumbai : Commemorating World Environment Day and honouring the commitment made at the Glasgow Conference, St. Andrew’s High School in Mumbai hosted the Zero out Carbon event on 5th June. Educators and students converged to discuss strategies to reduce their carbon footprint and help Mumbai achieve the target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. Erik Malmberg, Consul at the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai, commended the initiative and event. He said, “It is important to work with youth on how to practice sustainability in everyday living – they are the changemakers of the future. This mission nurtures their minds through art, creativity, and purposeful engagement.”

Fr. Magi Murzello, rector and trustee of the St. Andrew’s Educational Foundation, spearheaded the event. He wanted the youth to follow the Pope’s teachings and get India started on the road to reducing carbon emissions as promised at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021. To encourage students to make better choices, Fr Magi asked them to rely on India’s magnificent past while looking to Sweden while thinking about the future.

Sweden’s Anna Ehn, Nature Litter Expert, addressed the students from over 35 schools in the city. She encouraged them to bring about change. She said, “We have to stop littering, start recycling and reduce our plastic use. All of us are part of the solution.”

Along with the discussion, students watched a 75-minute play called “I Want to Be a Humming Bird”, which highlighted the importance of simple living in today’s world. Sweden shared their exhibition, Re: waste – How Sweden is rethinking resources, with the students to inspire them to act now for a better future. The exhibition offered crucial insights into how the simple principles of sharing, recycling and reusing could extend the lifecycles of harmful products.

While the Zero out Carbon event was a good starting point, Mumbai and India still have a long journey ahead. Fr Magi Murzello hopes to continue carrying out environmental activities in schools belonging to the Mumbai Archdiocese all year. He hopes to rely on India’s growing relationship with Sweden to inculcate sustainable practices in schools and homes. Sweden has made an active effort to protect the environment since 1967 when the country became the first in the world to pass an environmental protection act. They rely on preserving the past and safeguarding the future by limiting pollution. Instead of traditional fossil fuels, over 50% of their power comes from renewable sources.

India and Sweden have already partnered to work towards sustainability. By encouraging children to join the campaign, both countries are looking towards a future that puts the environment first. As the Zero out Carbon campaign continues to spread its wings, it will be interesting to see how much India and Sweden can learn from each other.