Climate change can often feel like a daunting issue, one that many push away and ignore, leaving the never-ending problem to the next generation. World leaders make promises they eventually compromise on, or change the wording of so they can further line their pockets, whilst the communities they are meant to serve suffer each and everyday.
Many young people, myself included, are angry. We are angry that we’ve been left with this never-ending problem our ancestors gave us, we are angry that we are not being equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to fix it, and we are angry that the people who created it continuously lie to save their backs.
But if we want to make change, we cannot let this anger shine through.
The people in power aren’t listening to us. Our protests are going unnoticed and our strikes are being met with punishment. So let's go and speak to them ourselves.
The Nottingham Climate Assembly is a community-driven organisation, created to put our ideas on the Nottingham City Council's agenda. To do this, we came together over a weekend in July to discuss how the climate affects our city, and what we want to do about it, with other organisations and projects coming in to assist us. We focused on four pillars, food and energy, shopping and consumption, transportation and nature, and with the help of experts in those fields, we created our manifesto that was released earlier in September!
The UK knows that change is needed, but lacks the ambition and government to fight for climate justice, however, Nottingham is different. The Nottingham City Council has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2028, a goal that is 22 years ahead of the rest of the country. To reach this, we need everyone of all ages and backgrounds to collaborate, and put ideas on the table, because the council can’t do this alone.
Our manifesto is doing just that.
We want our city to become the inspiration it aims to be, and so we are going to the policy makers directly to make a difference. On September 21st, the NCA Youth Panel will be meeting with 5 Nottingham City councillors to put our points forward and hopefully, get our ideas implemented in Nottingham.
One of the key features of our manifesto is the request of creating a Youth Climate Committee for the council to have a direct way of integrating our generation’s experience and knowledge into the climate change conversation. Our changing climate has woven itself into every aspect of our lives from a young age, and it will not stop until we make changes on a societal scale. It’s our generation that will be inheriting this mess, and so our voices should be at the for-front of climate justice, locally and nationally.
To have the biggest impact, we need all the support we can get within Nottingham and outside of the city. Please do take a look at our manifesto, and share it with those you think might be interested. Whilst we are a Nottingham-based organisation, we’re always open to improving our manifesto, so if there is a point you’d like us to consider, get in touch and we’ll try to include it! If you like any of our ideas, I really do encourage you to take them to your own councillors or MP, because climate change isn’t just a Notts issue, and so if we can make change on a national scale then that's even better!
Now that we have our manifesto, the real work begins. We’ve already been to a handful of events in Nottingham but we need as much funding as we can get to further spread the word about our work, so if you can please donate!
A common misconception is that young people are the future, and whilst that is partially true, we are also the present, so let's get our voices heard now, not in ten years when it’ll be far too late. If you have any questions about our work or want to get involved please do get in contact with me or the NCA and we’ll be more than happy to welcome you!