Young leaders tackle Climate Change
Young leaders of the future from the Trafford College Group’s Altrincham, Stockport and Stretford campuses came together last week to address the serious issue of climate change.
Students from the College’s youth social action groups including The Green College Assembly and the Equalities Council, along with student leaders, met with environmental guest speaker, Sam Evans.
Mr Evans, author of the GMCA environment plan and Head of Natural Environment with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, visited students as a result of their contribution to the ‘Make your Mark’ campaign in October, where the biggest issue identified for young people was the environment. Following the campaign, students are now preparing to present to scrutiny committees in Stockport and Trafford Council.
This recent talk has helped students gain the knowledge and information they require about the current plans in place to make Greater Manchester more environmentally friendly and reduce its carbon footprint, helping their planning and delivery of these important presentations.
Mr Evans outlined some of the challenges faced by the GMCA, covering topics such as the Bee Network, the Clean Air Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide levels, and a Plastic Free GM, along with strategies of how to overcome the challenges, before giving students the opportunity to put their questions to him. One of the students’ biggest concerns was how best to reach very young people at the earliest possible opportunity to educate them on the important issues of climate change.
A Level student and recently elected Student Governor, Macy Sheil, questioned Mr Evans on the current plans for ensuring climate change is implemented into curriculum from primary school age. She commented, “When it comes to the issue of education around climate change, the biggest challenge we have is reaching children at a young age. There are so many inconsistencies in its delivery across different schools. We can’t rely on our older generation - many of whom don’t believe climate change is a real problem - to educate these children, so they have to be reached in the classroom.”
Mr Evans added, “We all have to play our part in tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency. It was great to have the opportunity to hear young people’s views, questions and ideas on what we’re doing in Greater Manchester to tackle the environmental challenges we’re facing. Initiatives like The Green College Assembly and other action groups are great examples of students coming together to make the change we need happen and to influence other people as well.”
The talk was the first of three inspirational sessions being offered to students, with the second and third scheduled to take place at the College’s Stretford and Stockport campuses over the coming months.