This article was written by Grace Andrews, Head of Reading Youth Council’s Plastic Pollution Campaign.
My name is Grace Andrews, and I am a member of Reading Borough Youth Councils’ Plastic Pollution Campaign. Six months ago, I joined the Youth Council for my passion to achieve a healthier, greener Britain. Recently as our campaign commissioner, I got the opportunity to attend the ‘all for climate Italy ‘conference held in Cumberland lodge earlier this September. Here young people like myself got given the vital opportunity to discuss and debate our climate crisis, and how we could possibly contribute to fixing it.
The conference consisted of five panellist, who each in turn went through 17 ways COP26 could potentially cure our climate crisis. The main theme as expected was tackling fossil emissions and greenhouse gases, and ways the government could possibly fund this. For example, allocating 5% of Britain’s GDP to addressing the climate crisis, and then requiring a finance minister to annually report on what this 5% is being spent on. Despite the main theme of fuels and their allocated expenses, there was also interestingly the suggestion of lowering the voting age to sixteen. Which managed to spark up a much-needed debate on: is the younger generation educated within politics enough to be allowed the vote?
After the conference was finished, the audience had a chance to engage in conversation with the panellist and the organisers at Cumberland lodge, on the 17 points discussed at the conference. One thing I found especially inspiring about this point of the night, was how people from all aspects of life were present not only in the panel, but also the audience. I spoke to councillors, politicians, youth members, and members of the public that were demanding change also. The diversity in opinions and backgrounds made engaging in conversation after the conference so intriguing, as everyone wanted the same outcome but there was one million possible ideas between us all.
You can find out more about Reading Youth Council here.