It is vital that young peoples’ voices are heard in the climate change discussion, but all too often, they get ignored.
For this reason, we launched our ‘Have Your Say’ event – the perfect platform for Bristol’s young people to share their thoughts and their ideas.
Hosted by our passionate Youth Ambassadors, Ebun and Samira, the in-depth conversation focused on ways that Bristol can improve its approach to climate change.
What Scares Young People About Climate Change?
As part of the discussion, young people anonymously wrote down what scares them about climate change. This is what they had to say:
“I’m scared to have kids because I don’t want them to live in a world that is so damaged.”
“I’m scared that not everyone is taking climate change seriously – it’s just being discussed”
“I’m scared that animals we know will become extinct”
“I’m scared of reaching the point of no return”
“I’m scared that I will have to explain certain things or animals to my children because they will go extinct”
One young person asked, “What will my children’s lives be like? What will they be missing out on, and what challenges will they face? Because of air pollution, will they see the stars?”
“Extinction” and “Death”
When the group was asked to think of some words that they associate with climate change, some of the most popular words included:
The Future of Bristol
Looking to the future, the main emotions of the group were mixed. There was a feeling of positivity about climate change being discussed more, and young people being able to communicate their ideas through a platform like ‘Our Bristol, Our World’.
One young person said: “It’s good to see lots of other young people passionate about climate change, and it bodes well for our future.”
Another said: “I think focus groups like this are good because they coherently collate lots of young peoples’ opinions. Sometimes if feels like we have so much anger and fear, and don’t know how to express it in a way that others will hear and acknowledge.”
However, in the grander scheme of things, many of the young people were very concerned about the rapid rate that climate change has increased in recent decades; and the immediate action that they feel is needed.
One person said: “Climate change is an urgent issue that needs to be dealt with instantly to avoid more and more issues piling up”
Another said: “The environment is dying and humans have the notion that the earth was made for us and that we can do whatever we want to it, but that’s egotistical. We need the earth more than it needs us.”
Hear More at ‘Our Bristol, Our World’
This focus group was one of four discussions that have taken place before the ‘Our Bristol, Our World’ Youth Conference. The others looked at culture & politics, health & wellbeing, and needs & aspirations.
‘Our Bristol, Our World’ has been set up with the support of Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, the City Office, Bristol City Council, and The National Lottery Community Fund. It will give a platform for young people to tell city leaders what they want, as the City Office looks to set up a vision for what Bristol will look like by 2050.
Grab Your Ticket
Want to be a part of the conference?
Get in touch with Zoe at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a volunteer, a sponsor, or a speaker at ‘Our Bristol, Our World’.