This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government
Petition Consult with focus groups of young people when creating climate change policy
Adults are responsible for the climate change we are experiencing. They can also make the decisions that will improve or worsen the situation.
Under 18s cannot vote, but will be the ones most affected by these changes so their opinions should be taken into account before such decisions are made.
We propose the government create a mechanism by which the views of the under 18s can be canvassed by politicians in relation to climate issues.
This could be through consultation with focus groups made up of school eco-representatives rr through the creation of youth climate summit like they have at the UN. Under 18s should be given the opportunity to express their views on local national and international climate policies with a view to influencing legislation through MP's.
This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website
This response was given on 15 October 2019
This year a group of young people were brought together by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, led by the British Youth Council, to review Government’s environment and climate policy
Read the response in full
This government is committed to leaving the environment in a better state than we found it, handing over a cleaner, greener country to the next generation. To help achieve this goal, this year the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass a law to end its contribution to global warming by committing to Net Zero emissions by 2050.
It is vital that young people get the chance to influence strategies like this, which will impact the environment they inherit. For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape our future environment and climate policy through the Youth Steering Group (YSG), a group of young people aged 14-24.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) invited the YSG to conduct a review of government’s environment and climate policy, including reviewing the 25 Year Environment Plan Progress Report, Clean Growth Strategy and Resources and Waste Strategy.
The Group, set up at the beginning of 2019 by DCMS and led by the British Youth Council (BYC), advised government on priorities for environmental action and gave a view on progress to date against existing commitments on climate change, waste and recycling, and biodiversity loss.
The government welcomed the YSG’s detailed report on progress and priorities in relation to climate change, waste and recycling, and biodiversity loss. We are currently considering the report and plan to continue to work with the Group, who will also be meeting with Ministers, to understand how government can respond to their recommendations, for instance through enhanced public engagement on climate change, clean growth and waste and recycling, making sure that government’s communications are tailored to engage a younger audience.
In addition to the review, the YSG was represented at the UN Youth Climate Summit to share what action they have taken to engage other young people in the UK and the UK government on the climate change agenda. The UN Youth Climate Summit is a platform for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions at the United Nations, and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time.
Achieving clean growth has to be a shared endeavour between government, devolved nations, local authorities, business, civil society and the British people. This is why government introduced Green GB & NI Week in 2018, the Year of Green Action in 2019 and the next Green GB & NI Week due to take place in the first quarter of 2020.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.