Over 550 young people in Solihull recently took part in a survey, capturing how young people in the borough feel about climate change. Organised by Solihull Council in partnership with the InterClimate Network, the results highlight just how important of an issue climate change is for the next generation of Silhillians. The survey’s high response rate provides a detailed understanding of young people’s climate perspectives, and notably it offers insights into how the Council can support young people and involve them in Solihull's net zero journey.
Coinciding with COP26, the feedback period was open to young people from ages 10 to 25 and took place between October and December 2021. A number of the key findings from the survey report are summarised below:
- 8 in 10 young people are concerned about climate change;
- 2 in 3 young people are already choosing to act on climate change;
- 8 in 10 participants think Solihull Council should take action on climate change;
- 81% thought climate change is already having a negative effect on people’s lives around the world; and
- 66% of young people thought climate change would affect their life in the future.
The research showed that young people in Solihull are serious about tackling climate change and the majority are enthusiastic and willing to do their bit. Schools and colleges were found to be the most trusted source of information for young people to learn about climate change. However, the findings demonstrate that broadly speaking younger members of society would like greater opportunities to get involved in climate action in schools and be more involved in decision making.
The Council will be using the views expressed to positively influence the approach to delivering Solihull’s Net Zero Action Plan, and in particular how to create meaningful engagement with young people.
Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Planning and Housing, said:
“It’s really encouraging to see how passionate and engaged young people are about climate change in Solihull. Ultimately, many of those who participated in the survey are future custodians of the borough and will soon be making the important decisions that shape Solihull’s environment.
“We note that 8 out of 10 respondents believe Solihull Council should be taking action on climate change. As a Council, tackling climate change is one of our highest priorities, which is why we’ve set the target of making sure our own operations are net zero by 2030. On top of that, we recently adopted the ambitious Solihull Net Zero Action Plan in November 2021, setting out what is needed for the borough as a whole to become net zero by 2041.
“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who participated in the survey and the InterClimate Network for collaborating with us on this important piece of in-depth research.”
James Streeter, Executive Chairman, InterClimate Network at InterClimate Network, said:
“Solihull Council is taking the lead among local authorities in bringing the voices of young people into their strategy for becoming a net zero borough by 2041.
The high level of engagement from this joint project provides important insights into how young people can participate in Solihull's journey towards net zero.
We look forward to further collaboration in the future to support the partnership approach the council has adopted towards incorporating youth voices into its Net Zero Action Plan.”
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