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Young geographers team up with scientists to lobby Prime Minister

Press release issued: 9 November 2012

Aspiring geographers from across Bristol will be joined by some of the country’s leading scientists to learn about one of the most important and pressing challenges of our time — climate change

Aspiring geographers from across Bristol will be joined by some of the country’s leading scientists to learn about one of the most important and pressing challenges of our time — climate change.

The Great Environment Debate 2012, hosted by academics from the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute, will bring young people together to teach them how human actions modify the Earth’s climate and the challenges that lie ahead.

Around 150 pupils from local schools and colleges will be attending the event, comprising a series of visual presentations and practical workshops on climate change related topics. 

During the day pupils will be asked to produce environmental action plans that they believe are feasible to implement for less waste in their community and school.  At the end of the event pupils will have an opportunity to debate climate change mitigation actions and policies and use what they have learnt to form the basis of a letter to the Prime Minister advising what the Government should be doing to cut carbon emissions by 2050.

Dr Chris Deeming, Senior Research Fellow in the University’s School of Geographical Sciences, said: “Climate change is an especially challenging environmental problem because it’s global. But even individuals can easily take big steps to reduce their contribution to climate change. Educating the next generation on the measures they can undertake to limit climate change is crucial to the future of our planet.

“Young people’s voices in the climate change debate are important, and young people should be actively encouraged to debate such issues in public life.”

The ESRC-funded workshop, which takes place on Friday 9 November in the University’s Wills Memorial Building, is part of Thinking Futures a free festival of events open to members of the public. A full programme is available on the ‘Thinking Futures’ website. The Festival has been organised by the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Law with support from the Centre for Public Engagement.