Shropshire Star

Shropshire students attend Youth Climate Summit

Schools across the borough have descended on Ironbridge to learn about climate change from industry leaders.

Educational Sustainability Consultant, Susan Bearblock, addresses children at the Youth Climate Summit

Almost 100 children attended presentations and interactive workshops by experts at the Enginuity Ironbridge Gorge Museum yesterday.

The event was organised by Telford & Wrekin Council, as they aim for the borough to be net-zero by 2030, and the day was designed to 'demystify' what the children know about climate change.

The council hopes climate change specialists will help the students learn about climate change but also enable them to put forward their thoughts and suggestions to help shape the area's climate action plan.

Four schools across the borough attended the event including Ercall Wood Academy based in Wellington, Charlton School in Telford, Newport Girls' High School Academy and Hadley Learning Community based in Telford.

Councillor Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said: "We want to engage with our young people, not just to supplement their education around climate change, but to fully involve them in the conversation and the borough’s direction of travel.

"Holding the event here at Ironbridge, where a lot of this started, feels appropriate (Coalbrookdale is where coal-burning first started during the industrial revolution).

"We are thinking about the future but are mindful of our place in history."

Babi Banjoko, 14, is a pupil at Ercall Wood Academy and she believes her generation has a vital part to play in tackling climate change.

She said: "Our generation is going to be the one that has the most impact on what is going to happen to the earth so it is important we have the information in our heads to help us.

"There has been a lot of information to take in, and we have learnt a lot of facts, and some of it was quite hard for us to understand.

"But they have explained how we can help to spread the word and make a difference using social media.

"I think it is a great platform to share information about climate change."

John Taylor, a geography teacher at Charlton School and head of year nine, said: "It is a good realisation for them that it is not just about planting trees, but action is more important and the awareness of reducing their impact on the environment."