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Climate Change Youth Project Launch - Blog

11/06/2020

The Giving Nature a Home team have been working in Glasgow for over six years; connecting children, families and community groups to create a city-wide wildlife garden and celebrating nature within Glasgow.

In March this year, we began the ‘Climate Change Youth Project’ working with young people from across Scotland to facilitate a series of climate change-themed youth events in Glasgow in the lead up to COP26; creating a platform for young people to raise their voices and to shape and influence these events.

The Climate Change Youth Project needed support and RSPB wanted to work with businesses that have a strong presence in Glasgow and keen to support a project developed, delivered and led by young people. As the first integrated energy company in the UK to generate 100% green electricity and with a commitment to delivering a better future, quicker, ScottishPower was keen to get involved. Sam Gardner, ScottishPower’s Head of Climate Change & Sustainability said:

“Climate change is a reality for all of us now, and its impact – if we don’t accelerate our actions –  will be devastating for future generations. That’s why it’s so important for young people to be heard and help shape our response to the climate and nature emergency.   ScottishPower is very proud to support the RSPB’s Climate Change Youth Project, which provides a clear platform for young voices to be heard”.

“Young people know exactly what changes we need to make and this exciting project – which will involve some of our young employees – will hopefully help their voices to be heard so we can all help to build a better future, quicker.”

RSPB Scotland had planned to invite young people from across Glasgow to help us launch this exciting new project in person in April, but sadly due to Covid-19 that was not possible. However, we have been using all the resources we have to hand and learning new ways to organise and work together even when we can’t physically meet.

To do this we have formed a Climate Change youth steering group, made up of under 25’s from across Scotland who will be regularly “meeting up” by video conference between now and the beginning of 2021. In our meetings we will be:

  • Sharing and learning about climate and biodiversity crises issues that matter to you
  • Discussing and planning how to make a difference for climate and biodiversity where you are
  • Creating ways to gather support and activities for nature when we can’t meet in person
  • Designing a climate change conference for young people
  • Learning about how the RSPB can support local projects

Youth Steering group member, Emily, tells us more about why she was interested in taking part:

“I became aware of the Climate Change Youth Steering Group after being told about an event taking place in Aviemore earlier this year. I really enjoyed [it] and being able to meet like-minded young people. I love that during meetings I can get my voice heard and feel like I am being listened to. I feel that a lot of the time young people, like myself, can feel as though no one will listen to our concerns and ideas surrounding climate change, but at the Climate Change Youth Steering Group they really make you feel important and that your opinions matter.

I believe that young people can do a lot to help combat climate change. The main thing I think all young people can do is talk. We should keep fighting by talking to our friends, families, teachers and communities to help try and make change. I believe that communication and education is key to facing the challenge of climate change and making a positive difference in our local communities.”

If this sounds like something you, or a young person you know, might be interested in we are still looking for young people under 25 from Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Central Belt and beyond. Please contact project officer, Kate Kirkwood, at kate.kirkwood@rspb.org.uk who will be able to share more information about getting involved.

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