Children hope to deliver net carbon emissions

Children hope to deliver net carbon emissions

24 November 2021

LOCAL schools have joined forces with Newry, Mourne and Down Council and made a pledge to help tackle climate change.

Council chairwoman Cathy Mason was delighted to welcome a delegation of pupils from schools across the district to council offices in Downpatrick this week.

The pupils presented her with their ‘Leaf Pledges’ on climate change in the hope that the Council will work together with them in the fight to deliver net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Eco-Group at Down High School are passionate about encouraging young to have a voice in creating a greener future in our local community.

Inspired by the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow, which brought world leaders together to help accelerate action towards climate change targets, the pupils developed the ‘Leaf Pledge Project’.

This was an initiative originally started by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), in which young people share their personal pledge to the planet.

The aim is to send a message to world leaders that young people are ready to fight against climate change and they need them to step up and do their bit to protect our future.

Down High school adapted the WWF leaf pledge idea to include the pledges they would like their local council, instead of world leaders, to make, regarding climate change.

This project was promoted across all schools in the Council area, with a huge number of schools becoming actively involved.

The schools used the initiative to educate pupils on the climate crisis during the COP26 summit fortnight.

Rachel Wilson, a teacher at Down High School, said: “This project has given pupils a platform to voice their concerns about climate change.

It has also demonstrated how working together collaboratively across the district can result in positive outcomes for everyone”.

Cllr Mason said: “I am excited to receive these climate ‘Leaf Pledges’ from our young people here today. 

She said the council recognised climate change as a “serious threat to our way of life and has declared a climate emergency”.

She continued: “We are currently working across departments to develop a Climate Adaptation Plan to provide resilience to the impacts of climate change including flooding, droughts, storms, and sea level rise.

“We are also working in partnership with other organisations and the local community to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment.

“Listening to the voice of our youth is incredibly important, as climate change will impact the future generations of our community.”