Waterford City and County Council’s Climate Action Team hosted its first Student Climate Conference in City Hall this week (Wednesday, November 8th).
Secondary schools from across Waterford City and County were invited to attend the conference which was officially opened by the Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway.
Each partaking school was represented by a teacher and student ‘climate ambassadors’. The premise of the conference was for students to learn about the Local Authority’s creation and implementation of its Climate Action Plan, and how younger people can not only engage with Local Authorities but play a role in the collective decision-making process, and share their thoughts and experiences of climate issues.
Welcoming the students to the Large Room in City Hall, the Mayor said, “There is no single solution to climate change and no single individual or group has all the answers. To tackle this problem, we need to examine it from all angles and find a range of ways to address it.
“Today, we would like to discover what aspects of climate change matter to you and what you think practical solutions might be. You are going to be living with the effects of climate change in the future, but today you can tell us how it impacts you and what you think we should be doing about it.
“As citizens, it is right that you have a say, and we value your ideas and priorities.”
Ireland has a national Climate Action Plan to deliver on the National Climate Objective for Ireland to become a climate resilient, biodiversity rich, environmentally sustainable and carbon neutral economy by no later than the end of 2050. As part of the roadmap to carbon neutrality Waterford City and County Council is creating a Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions across its own operations and to influence others to help them meet their own targets.
Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer with Waterford City and County Council said, “We are very excited to hear from the student population. This conference not only gives them the opportunity to learn about Waterford City and County Council’s pathway to carbon neutrality, but we can learn from their lived experiences, feedback and ideas. This input will be invaluable as we work together to help create a society that is no longer beholden to the detriments of climate change.”
The students took part in a number of workshops and discussions about topics such as Governance and Leadership in Climate Action, the built environment, campaigning for communities and examining the circular economy.
For more information about Waterford City and County Council’s Climate Action strategy visit https://www.waterfordcouncil.ie/departments/environment/carbon-neutral-waterford/strategy.htm or email email@example.com
Images: Free to use, Patrick Browne