Youngsters give their views on climate change

THE COUNTY’S future generation gave their views on climate change when they met with decision-makers.

More than 100 students from 10 schools from across East Sussex, including members of the East Sussex Youth Cabinet, met at the Eastbourne Centre for a youth summit.

They were joined by 16 students from Rouen in France.

There were lively debates and discussions as Councillor Matthew Lock, lead cabinet member for transport and environment, and Rupert Clubb, director of transport and environment, mingled with workshop groups of young people ranging in age from 11 to 16 years old.

Students discussed what they already do in their schools to protect the environment and what they would like to do more of.

They learned about what East Sussex County Council can do to help schools become more sustainable, and they heard about practical ideas and actions they can use at school and at home to reduce their carbon emissions.

At the end of the summit all delegates voted on which key areas of work they would like to see carried forward after the event.

The top three actions were to: help schools set carbon reduction targets; hold a countywide switch off day and work on a strategy to increase renewable energy use.

The East Sussex Youth Cabinet, which is made up of representatives from across the county and was elected by more than 17,000 young people, will work with East Sussex County Council to promote these actions over the coming months.

Councillor Matthew Lock, Lead Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at East Sussex County Council, said, “The youth summit was a fantastic opportunity for me to hear directly from young people about what they see as the top priorities for tackling climate change and reducing our carbon footprint.

“We are responsible for making decisions but it is their future much more than it is ours, and it is important for them to have their say.

“I heard some very interesting discussions on the day and it has been really helpful to listen to what the young people of East Sussex have got to say about climate change.

“I’m grateful to them for taking the time to be part of the youth summit.”