‘Talk and no action’ Children’s Parliament urges leaders to step up on climate crisis

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle praises the Children's Parliament

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The Children’s Parliament debate will be held at 5pm on Friday, and will be live-streamed on Express.co.uk. Ahead of the event, which will see over 600 Child MPs conduct a parliamentary-style debate focused on the threat to their futures, a number of the participants have expressed their thoughts on how world leaders should see their responsibilities at COP26. Nihal Dhatt, 10, from Long Close School in Slough, believes “solving climate change will be the challenge of the next few generations.”

She said: “Governments worldwide will have to invest heavily in research and industries and to support households to make the necessary changes.

“I see this as an exciting time for world leaders, brilliant scientists and engineers and industries to come together to build a sustainable eco-friendly world.”

Rikza Mohamed Rikas, a Year 6 pupil at Weald Rise Primary School, Middlesex, spoke of the concerns young people may have, which world leaders should consider as they head to the UN conference.

She said: “Young people might be incredibly worried governments are not doing enough.”

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Expressing particular concern over clean water supplies, she said: “785 million people lack access to clean water. Save water by not letting taps leak, steaming veggies, not boiling them and by catching rainwater.”

The power of young people in this debate was close to the hearts of many Child MPs taking to the Commons to debate their – and current world leaders’ – roles in mitigating climate change.

Erin Marshall, from Riverside Primary Academy in Tyne and Wear, said it is a “hard question to answer” when posed with the issue of how to stop climate anxieties bubbling up in young people.

“Because I am worried about the environment,” said the Year 6 student.

“I am fortunate enough to have access to the internet and television, so I see a lot of information about climate change and the differing opinions on the subject.

“However, I try to work with my school to make an impact, however small, and my family try to be as environmentally aware as possible.

“I think it could have a negative impact on mental health, but it is a very important subject, so children and adults need to be aware of their personal impacts on the world and be given information on how they can help.”

Max Munds, from Kew Green Preparatory School, said: “Lots of talk and no action is making young people feel stressed.

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“When they start to see change happen their mental health will improve because they will see the future is already one step better.”

Many of the Child MPs raised the issue of how to protect wildlife from the already-visible signs of climate change.

Daniel Crudgington, 10, from Briary Primary School in Kent, is particularly concerned about the survival of polar bears.

He said: “Because the ice caps are melting, we should worry because, eventually, it will affect the eco-system.”

Other Child MPs looked to other sources of evolution in the climate debate, such as Jack Adams, from Whitworth Community High School in Lancashire.

He said: “Businesses could come up with different solutions to save energy and come up with alternatives to plastic and better building materials.”

He added: “I think that in several years to come, climate change will be reduced by actual green energy such as electric cars but the electricity will be made from green energy.”

The Children’s Parliament will take the form of a fully-fledged Parliamentary debate, with half of the children representing Her Majesty’s Government and the other Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

The ninety-minute virtual session on Friday will focus primarily on climate change, but will also touch on key topics like COVID-19 and the future capabilities of technology.

The Children’s Parliament will be shown live at Express.co.uk on Friday at 5pm.

Click here to register a child to be involved in the Children’s Parliament: https://wakelet.com/@childrensparliament

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