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45 students representing 23 schools across the borough debated their climate action ideas at Stockport Town Hall on Wednesday 15th June.
Ideas proposed by the town’s young people at the Schools Climate Assembly will be presented to councillors at the next full meeting of Stockport Council in July. The project forms part of the Council’s Climate Action Now programme. In May, students learned about greenhouse gases, carbon footprints and high impact climate actions in a lesson on carbon literacy, before each school came up with a list of ideas of what they would like to see done in Stockport to respond to climate change.
More than 70 climate action ideas from schools were received, and shortlisted to five to represent locally actionable, high-impact and important action on climate change.
To prepare for the Town Hall debate, each school held a mock debate in class to choose their debate idea and prepare their arguments.
To open the debate, the Mayor of Stockport officially handed over to Rodrigo, Rose and Jake, members of the Stockport Youth Council, who led the lively, informative and thoughtful discussion.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said:
“Credit goes to our young people for the fantastic debate and for all their well thought out ideas. We’ve heard a clear mandate for action from young people and we’re committed to making sure that action follows. This is the beginning rather than the end of this initiative.”
Cllr Mark Roberts, Cabinet Member for Climate & Environment, said:
“Listening to these young people has been truly, truly inspirational. I hope to see some of them sat in Council Chambers, as elected representatives, in the coming years! They have demonstrated how capable they are.”
After proposing and debating their climate action ideas, each pupil voted on which idea they supported the most. The young people voted for ‘make eco-friendly, biodegradable or reusable period products more affordable and accessible in schools’ to be presented to the full Council next month. The idea was proposed by students from Reddish Vale High School.
The five climate action ideas that were debated were:
- Increase the amount of renewable energy supplied in the Borough, including the renewable energy supplied on school land, which will require finance and advice to the borough to enable the use and production of sustainable energy sources for heating and lighting (composite idea, submitted by Tithe Barne Primary and other schools)
- Make it easier and safer to walk and cycle to school by having more and safer cycle lanes, safer crossings, walking routes/trails, traffic restrictions and better paths (composite idea, submitted by St Christopher’s Primary and other schools)
- Insulation grants for homes in Stockport (idea submitted by Aquinas College)
- Schools design awareness raising posters about climate change and the Council fund printing, mounting and distribution in local communities (idea submitted by Ladybrook Primary School)
- Make eco-friendly, biodegradable or reusable period products more affordable and accessible in schools (idea submitted by Reddish Vale High School)
Cllr Mark Roberts added:
“The ideas will be presented to all 63 councillors at the next meeting of the Council, and we believe we are the first council to gather the views of young people on the challenges of climate change in this immersive and engaging way.”