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A key aspect of the conference is to get young people talking and sharing ideas about ways in which they can respond positively to climate change issues. [Photo credit - Aussiegall]
A key aspect of the conference is to get young people talking and sharing ideas about ways in which they can respond positively to climate change issues. [Photo credit - Aussiegall]

Press Release - 10 June 2008

Bath pupils to become climate change ambassadors

Local secondary school pupils will be encouraged to explore the key environmental issues affecting the world, at the B&NES Young People’s Climate Change Connection Conference, hosted by the University of Bath on 19-20 June 2008.

Over 180 pupils aged 14 and 15 will attend two days of presentations and workshops exploring the causes of global warming and its impact on people in developing countries.

Throughout the two days, the students will make presentations on what they see as the key climate change issues. They will then formulate ideas for positive action at home, at school and in the wider community.

The keynote speakers will include: Idrissa Doucoure, Water Aid’s Programme Manager (West Africa) who will be discussing the impact of climate change in poorer parts of the world and its effect on water supplies, and Dr Elizabeth Kendon from the Met Office Hadley Centre who will be exploring the science of climate change.

Other guest speakers will include: Jane Talbot from Envolve – a local charity dealing with sustainability issues; Carmel McQuaid - Marks and Spencer’s National Climate Change Manager; and Fenella Gerry from the Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society.

"This is the second Climate Change Conference for young people in B&NES,” said Jane Talbot, Education Manager at Envolve.

“Like last year, we aim to provide students with a really stimulating couple of days and an opportunity to learn about the science of climate change and its impact both locally and globally.”

“A key aspect of the conference is to get young people talking and sharing ideas about ways in which they can respond positively to this vitally important issue. After all, it's their future."

At the end of the conference, pupils will address a panel of teachers, council workers and business people with their ideas for environmental change. Their messages will cover suggestions for individuals, families, schools and local councils.

The workshops are the brainchild of Dr Frank Martinelli, Director of Ralph Allen School’s Science College.

‘I thought up the idea of the conference a couple of years ago when I felt that climate change was to become a big issue, but that no-one had really asked for the opinions of those who would really feel the effects, i.e. the next generation,” said Dr Martinelli.

“The first conference last year, was a great success, and I am amazed at how things have changed in so short a time. In the past year we have seen not only the effects of climate change, but the political effects in terms of world food distribution and also huge increases in demand, and therefore the cost, of energy resources.”

“These things are all linked, and highlight very effectively that we cannot continue to live in an unsustainable way.”

“We are pleased to see the progress that local councils, major businesses and many individuals are making, but this needs to be kept firmly on the agenda for everyone who has an interest in the future.”

The conference is organised by Ralph Allen School - a specialist science college – along with the University of Bath and Envolve. Other participating schools include: Culverhay School, Kingswood School, Beechen Cliff School and St.Gregory’s School.

Financial support has also been provided by The Sainsbury Family charitable trust and The Department for International Development through Envolve's Climate Change Connection project.

For more information about the event, please contact Elizabeth Andrews, Outreach Events Co-ordinator at the University of Bath on 01225 383507.


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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