The Wokingham Paper

Students invited to Youth Climate Conference next month

Students are invited to join a Youth Climate Conference. Picture: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.

SIXTH formers keen to tackle the climate emergency are being invited to a special conference next month.

Wokingham Borough Council said that it hopes the event will open up the discussion and will be the first of its upcoming outreach projects to local teenagers.

The Youth Climate Conference will include a Question Time-style debate, and tackle issues including sustainable fashion, climate justice, migration and transport. There is also a range of speakers, who will be announced soon.

Delegates will be encouraged to share their ideas about everyday changes people can make to help the cause.

Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services, said: “The event will engage our young people in a debate about what they can do to help our planet and our borough”.

The conference is a result of the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. In the plans, engagement with schools and young people is expressed as a priority to increase change.

Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for climate emergency, hopes that young people will “spread the word” of practical actions that their friends and families can take, becoming ambassadors for environmental change in their schools.”

He added: “By engaging with young people we know we are encouraging the right behaviours and showing just how much of a difference they can make”.

The conference’s announcement comes after five Woodley teenagers quizzed councillors about their actions towards the climate emergency. Cllr Murray announced the conference during the question time at the Wokingham Borough Council meeting on Thursday, January 23, saying it was another opportunity for young people to get involved.

Cllr Murray also hopes to “receive feedback and a lot of ideas of other things that we can do, with them and for them, to help reduce our carbon footprint”.

The conference will be held at Wokingham Borough Council’s Shute End offices on Monday, March 30 from 4pm to 7pm. It is open to 80 sixth formers aged 16 and above.

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