Students and staff at a theatre and music company in Marlow are calling on councillors to declare a “climate emergency”.

Rather than joining students around the country in striking and joining in marches, science lessons at The Jam Academy made way for a campaign headquarters to be set up, with letters written to Marlow town and Wycombe district councils.

Curriculum director Mark Hartley said: “Climate change is a big part of the science curriculum now. Therefore students take this issue very seriously.

“As a school community, we wanted to show our support for the international effort of amazing young people.

“But changing the world can seem impossible, so we decided to tackle it at a local level.

“[We] took letters to the leaders of Marlow Town Council and Wycombe District Council asking them to consider declaring a climate emergency.

“With around 2,500 secondary school aged students in Marlow alone, Jam students wish to join forces with other young people in the area to keep up the pressure for real and meaningful change before 2030.”

The letter said: “We are writing to you as students of The Jam Academy in Marlow, to ask Wycombe District Council to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

“Councils across the UK are making this commitment, encouraged by their local communities, and have committed to being carbon neutral by 2030.

“Today, young people across Europe are striking and demonstrating, showing more leadership than our politicians – especially with a recent climate change debate in Parliament being so badly attended. We need to act on the ICPP’s 2018 report now.

“If the planet warms by 1.5ºC over the next 12 years, it would have devastating and irreversible consequences across the globe, including further extreme weather such as heatwaves and floods, and the loss of most coral reefs.

“A 2º rise however would be catastrophic, yet we are heading for a 3-4º rise. This is truly horrifying, yet avoidable if we take action now.

“Declaring a climate emergency at local government level, will ensure that these issues are recognised by communities in both their individual and collective decisions. We need climate emergency motions to stop paying lip service and need to take radical action.

“Actions and their objectives need to have clear deadlines before 2030.

“Local councils across the country, including Milton Keynes and Reading Borough Council, have declared a commitment to be carbon neutral by at least 2030.

“Oxford [is] still to announce their deadline, but have recently cancelled road building to demonstrate their commitment to the environment.

“We believe there is the will in the local community to take action, and that our local councillors should demonstrate leadership in this matter, by declaring a climate emergency.

“We appreciate your time in reading our letter and your consideration of our concerns. We would love for our local representatives to lead us to a sustainable and carbon neutral future.”