Children's Parliament: MP asked whether children's views matter
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Henry, child MP representing St Theresa’s Catholic School in Yorkshire, began: “According to an Office for National Statistics report from March 2021, the amount of UK greenhouse gas emissions has almost halved in the last thirty years. We need to continue this same progress to reach our target of net zero by 2050.
“In my opinion, this is feasible, but to do this, we need more people in businesses to get on board with the idea, and understand the importance of it.
“Only then, do I think we can reach this target.”
The Children’s Parliament MPs had been discussing whether the UK needed to be more assertive in driving green energy transition, to avoid being left behind by other countries.
The question was posed whether Britain should “take the opportunity to lead the world and secure our future jobs around new technologies in green markets.”
Henry, 10, then asked the child MPs whether they believed more emphasis should be placed on convincing those to share the “enthusiasm” the group of youngsters had for tackling the big issues.
Other child delegates speaking at the virtual event raised issues such as the speed of electric car implementation and how to ensure world leaders heeded their warnings as young people.
The Children’s Parliament, platforming the views of the younger generation, focused primarily on climate change solutions ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow.
Previously in the Children’s Parliament, a child MP from St Pierre’s School in Southend whether the world leaders gathering in Glasgow, and UK MPs, “will listen to our views and care about them,” Conservative MP David Davis, participating in the event, responded to the virtual panel: “The simple truth is yes.”
Eva, an 11-year-old pupil in Sir David Amess’s constituency, asked the veteran MP: “Do you think they really believe that children of our age deserve a say in these huge decisions?”
Mr Davis, former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, replied: “We argue amongst ourselves an enormous amount, but if you want to get people [in the Commons] all on one side, the way to do it is to talk about the future of our children.”
“We, all of us, love our children dearly, we all want them to have great lives, and we are, therefore, very concerned about what they believe and what they want.”
He explained to the Children’s Parliament that the closest target identified by COP26 was at the end of this decade, but that many stretched further into the future.
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He said: “This is for you. This is all about you. This is because you care about this.”
He said that choosing to hold the Children’s Parliament around the time of COP26 in Glasgow signalled to world leaders that children’s concerns lay with climate change, “the future of the planet, and the future of everybody on the planet.”
The Children’s Parliament is a virtual debate streamed on Express.co.uk, partnered with online education platform Wakelet.
It is a fully-fledged Parliamentary debate, with half of the children representing Her Majesty’s Government and the other Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson welcomed viewers and the child MPs chosen from across the country to “this incredible, online Children’s Parliament,” with just “moments to go” before the climate change summit hosted by the UK begins on Sunday.
He called COP26 the “most important summit, certainly, in my lifetime,” which will aim to address and reduce rising greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming and climate change.
He added: “What we will be discussing matters for everyone on this planet, but for our children, and our grandchildren, it matters even more.”
Listening to children’s voices on key issues was something close to the heart of the late Sir David Amess MP, who was murdered earlier this month during a constituency surgery,
He was a champion of the Children’s Parliament, believing it was “important their views are noticed and given a platform for debate, not least so the youngsters themselves have the opportunity to listen to and learn from their peers.”
In his speech, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the late Conservative MP, “whose passion and determination helped make this project happen.”
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