Young people have their say on climate change

Nearly 3,000 young people from schools and youth groups across Gloucestershire responded to a Climate Action Survey.

The survey, carried out by the InterClimate Network, ran from July to October 2022 and received 2,778 responses from 11 to 25-year-olds.

It was conducted in collaboration with Gloucestershire Youth Climate Group, Creative Sustainability, Planet Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and was supported by Gloucestershire County Council.

The findings showed that:

  • 8 out of 10 young people are concerned about climate change
  • 3 in 4 are already choosing to act on climate change
  • 86 per cent support council action

It also highlighted that young people want more joined-up action and to be better represented at all levels, with systemic change as well as individual action, and for responsibility and action to be shared fairly across society.

The county council funds the Gloucestershire Climate Youth Group (GYCG) to ensure that young people have a chance to be involved with the work towards the county being carbon neutral by 2045.

Independent support is provided for GYCG by Creative Sustainability, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, to provide opportunities and events for young people to build skills, develop teamwork and offer feedback on the county council’s climate actions.

Their views, together with the findings from the Climate Action Survey, will inform the county council’s approach to responding to the climate emergency.

Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning and the cabinet lead for climate change, said: “We are committed to the task of fighting climate change and creating a Greener Gloucestershire. Young people are key to getting these messages out and as individuals have the power to effect change.

“There are more than 100,000 young people of school age in Gloucestershire and almost 150,000 aged 16 to 25. If we can help young people to mobilise and influence what the county council and individuals can do, together we can achieve our ambitions.”

The county council’s cabinet is due to receive its third annual report and five-year action plan on the Gloucestershire Climate Change Strategy at its meeting on 25 January 2023.

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