Pupils pledge climate action after event brings schools together

This story was published 8 December 2021

More than 2,000 children from 70 North Yorkshire schools came together at a virtual event to discuss the actions everyone can take to tackle the challenge of climate change.

Power Down Pete

The COP 26 Climate Change Pupil Event was organised by our Energy and Sustainability Service and followed the international COP 26 climate change talks in Glasgow last month (November).

The event aimed to provide future generations with the knowledge, skills and understanding to adapt to a changing planet.

Schoolchildren took part in online workshops delivered by:

  • the North Yorkshire Rotters, our home composting, reduce, reuse and recycling volunteers;
  • Allerton Waste Recovery Park’s energy from waste plant;
  • the County Council’s Youth Voice team;
  • Craven Development Education Centre; and
  • the energy team’s own superhero, Power Down Pete, who works with schools to help children drive schools’ savings on their energy and water bills.

Cllr Greg White, Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “Young people are leading the call for the changes required to bring down greenhouse gas emissions across the planet. The County Council has always been committed to supporting its young people to understand the issues around climate change and to reduce their own carbon footprints.”

Pupils were asked to make their own pledges to cut carbon through actions such as walking to school, switching off appliances and reducing their waste. By the end of the event, pledges were flying in, planting trees being the most popular, alongside recycling, saving energy and growing their own fruit and vegetables.

County Council Chief Executive Richard Flinton said: “It is inspiring to see so many school pupils coming together to pledge to take action to reduce carbon emissions in school. I shared the council’s own actions to reduce carbon and was delighted to hear many ideas for reducing our carbon footprint.”

Many North Yorkshire schools are taking part in the international Eco Schools award scheme, which helps schools to integrate topics from biodiversity to global citizenship into the culture of the school.

North Yorkshire Youth Voice recently created a video on climate change to help Key Stage 2 pupils, aged 7 to 11, to understand the issue. The video was shared at the COP26 Youth Voice event, which was held virtually across the North during the global climate change summit.

The video contained messages from Harrogate and Craven Youth Councils on what climate change is, why young people should care and what they can do about it. Watch the video by North Yorkshire Youth Voice.

Anyone interested in finding out more about joining their local youth council or other ways to have their voice heard, can contact Nyvoice@northyorks.gov.uk or visit our North Yorkshire Youth Voice page to find out more.