Meeting with David Kidney was a great opportunity for us, the Copenhagen 4, to tell The Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change about our experiences in Copenhagen. Incidentally, is was also a marvellous opportunity to see inside the Houses of Parliament, in the ‘canteen’ – if I can call it that with oak panelling and the iconic green leather of the House of Commons, anyway, let’s just say it was a far cry from my school canteen! our meeting was informal but informative. I left the meeting feeling both positive and reassured that out government really does want to listen to us. It was also great to know that Kidney had read the manifesto from the Children’s Climate Forum – ‘What’s up COP?’ and agreed with all that was outlined, saying it was ‘fantastic’ how we had looked at adaptation as well as mitigation.
From our meeting we were hoping to share all that we had gained from the forum, especially how all the delegates came together with the goal of trying to safeguard the planet for future generations- not out of self-interest. Kidney was pleased by this and said how he felt that politicians had a thing or two to learn from us- something that Kidney assured us he would feed back to Ed Milliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
The main points of discussion from our meeting were:
- The role of civil society, maintaining the momentum built in the run up to COP15, ensuring Mexico delivers all that was promised of Copenhagen.
- The role of young people in the Climate Debate and the example of global co-operation they set at the Children’s Climate Forum in Copenhagen.
- The DECC, Department of Energy and Climate Change Youth Panel; Luke, Katie and Kidney came straight from sitting on the panel to the meeting. The plan being to get a panel set up and cemented before the general election.
- The Robin Hood Tax (click to support)- this was something Kidney supported, his only concern being that the funds gathered would be allocated to too many projects, one of these being Climate Change.
- Climate scepticism, Kidney reassured us that while there will always be criticism the government is trying to promote greater transparency from scientific bodies to help reassure the public that climate change is a very real danger that is imperative we deal with.
Overall, Kidney’s message was that of a positive one and that by the time we come to Mexico the World should be in a much stronger place to reach a legally binding consensus. Additionally, ever since December more and more countries have been signing up to the Copenhagen Accord- showing political willingness and progress.
The message is: We must continue to lobby, campaign and overcome climate change scepticism but things are starting to look up. We must keeping going. We must keep believing.
'Make the change- show that you care'.