Students from Trafford College Group’s three campuses, including Stockport, came together with the GMCA’s Head of Natural Environment, Sam Evans, to address the issue of climate change.
Students from the colleges’ youth social action groups, including The Green College Assembly and the Equalities Council, along with student leaders met with Sam Evans from the GMCA.
Sam Evans serves of Head of Natural Environment within GMCA and authored the authority’s environment plan. He visited the students as a result of the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign that highlighted climate change and the environment as the biggest issue for young people in Greater Manchester.
The talk aimed to inform students about current plans that are in place to make Greater Manchester more environmentally friendly and reach carbon neutrality by 2038. The students are now preparing to present to scrutiny committees in both Stockport and Trafford councils.
Mr Evans outlined some of the challenges faced by the GMCA, and strategies in place to overcome them. Discussions covered topics such as the Bee Network, the Clean Air Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide levels, and a Plastic Free GM.
One of the students’ biggest concerns was how best to reach 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 implementing climate change into the primary school curriculum.
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 sessions offered to students, with the second and third scheduled to take place at the College’s Stretford and Stockport campuses over the coming months.
Pictured: The Trafford College Group’s Young Leaders with Sam Evans (4th from left)