New initiative launched to bring children and young people together with politicians to tackle the climate emergency

13.09.2021

Children and young people from across Scotland are to take part in a nation-wide climate surgery with MSPs next month as part of a new initiative to ensure their voices are heard as part of the debate on the climate emergency.

Taking place on Friday 29 October, titled The Moment, it will be an opportunity for children and young people to engage with their elected representatives in places where they live, learn and play. It will allow them to communicate their expectations and hopes for their future. 

Ahead of this, children and young people will be encouraged and supported to communicate their calls to action in tackling the climate emergency ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

A number of new resources have been developed to enable children and young people to have their say.  The Children’s Parliament has developed a digital toolkit for children to explore climate issues and take part in creative activities to identify what issues they want to raise.  The Scottish Youth Parliament has similarly developed resources to empower young people across Scotland to explore and raise issues.

The initiative is in partnership with Globe International and children and young people will also report on the commitments from the day at the international COP26 GLOBE Legislators’ Summit - one of the biggest online gatherings of international parliamentarians – being hosted at the Scottish Parliament on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th November.

Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“As all eyes turn to Glasgow in November, this new initiative is a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to hear what is important to children and young people and what they can expect from their elected representatives on how we tackle the climate emergency.

“I am proud the Scottish Parliament can play its part in supporting and encouraging young people to feel part of this global debate on one of the most fundamental issues our world is currently facing.”

Member of Children’s Parliament, age 11, Highlands said:

“We want to see more awareness of the climate emergency, and changes in our community.  We think everyone should be involved to make changes for our planet.  We need to talk about our ideas with adults that can make change.”

Cathy McCulloch, co-director of the Children’s Parliament, said:

“A world free of climate disasters, where all children can be healthy, happy and safe without worry of losing their homes to flooding or their food to drought, is integral to their human rights”

“Since the establishment of Children’s Parliament in 1996. Children have consistently told us that they are passionate about the environment and concerned about their future. The Moment gives children and young people a unique opportunity to communicate their concerns and their calls to action to their elected representatives.  By taking part in The Moment, children and young people continue to highlight critical climate and environmental issues that many adults are not yet fully engaged with but which we all need to take seriously."

Wiktoria Orlicka MSYP, Trustee of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said:

“We hope that COP26 in Glasgow will be a fantastic opportunity for the whole world to come together and commit to create a better, healthier, and more just future for us all. Our From Scotland’s Young People Manifesto described the climate emergency as an issue of climate justice. This has to be one of the most important themes at COP26, and ‘The Moment’ offers a genuine opportunity for young people to bring issues like this directly to Scotland’s decision makers.
“It’s always fantastic to see children and young people taking initiative to campaign for the environment, and I urge Scotland’s decision-makers to listen to children and young people at ‘The Moment’ and take our perspectives on board.”

Background

Children’s Parliament’s Climate Changemakers toolkit will shortly be available to access on the 23rd of September at www.climatechangemakers.scot. It is designed for children aged 7 – 14 and features downloadable guides for both children and adult facilitators.  These resources support children to creatively explore what climate change means to them and to think about how they can express their own calls to climate action.  It also features an interactive national map, which can be shared separately to document their conversations with elected representatives on the day of The Moment.  This will build a national picture of elected representatives’ engagement with children on the climate emergency.

The Scottish Youth Parliament’s Climate Advocacy Action Pack will also be published on 23rd September. This toolkit will include resources and information to empower young people aged 14 – 25 to explore climate change and help them to prepare for The Moment.

Notes to Editor

Children’s Parliament: Established in 1996, Children’s Parliament is Scotland’s centre of excellence for children’s participation and engagement.  Through rights-based, creative practice, it provides younger children from diverse backgrounds with opportunities to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings so that they can influence positive change in their lives at home, in school and in the community. 

Contact: Jessica Smith, Year of Childhood Programme Manager, Children’s Parliament
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 07823756514

Scottish Youth Parliament: The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratic voice of Scotland’s young people. Scottish Youth Parliament is a charity registered in Scotland No: SC 032662. Visit our website for more information: https://syp.org.uk/ and our Media Room for our logo and other images: https://syp.org.uk/media-room/

Contact: Matt McDonald, Communications Officer, Scottish Youth Parliament – 07729487627 - [email protected] 

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