Top 5 ways children would solve climate change
By Gemma Francis
Published 22nd Jun 2021, 09:31 BST- 4 min read
Kids have revealed how they’d end climate change - including hamster-powered trains and banning homework because it uses too much paper.
This hilarious clip features a host of ways our children would save the planet – such as running cars on ‘special’ chocolate instead of petrol.
They’d also like to see an increase in the number people opting to travel by trampoline and by jetpack.
The introduction of giant zip wires allowing people to get from A to B without using fossil fuels was also advocated, as was a requirement everyone with a garden have at least three trees in their backyard.
The pupils provided their insights ahead of the launch of National Grid’s ‘Voices for a Green Future’ competition, which calls on kids to say in 200 words how they’d tackle climate change if they were in charge.
26th United Nations Climate Change Conference
The winners will have the chance to put their suggestions to world leaders at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November via a pre-recorded video.
It was launched after a study commissioned by National Grid of 1,500 children aged seven-16 found 80 per cent believe it’s their responsibility to save the planet.
While 62 per cent said climate change is one of the aspects of everyday life they feel most passionate about.
More than half (52 per cent) have been inspired by Sir David Attenborough – naming him their top ‘climate change hero’ ahead of Greta Thunberg (30 per cent) and Chris Packham CBE (27 per cent).
David Wright Chief Engineer of National Grid and one of the judges of the competition said: “Climate change impacts us all, but it is our children’s futures that will be most affected by the decisions we make today so it’s vital that their voices are heard.
“They have a strong understanding of the causes of climate change such as the fuel we put into our cars or the type of energy we use to heat our homes and schools.
"And as National Grid is at the centre of efforts to get Great Britain to net zero, I’m excited to hear from young people all over the country – they have inspiring ideas and they really can be the energy problem-solvers of tomorrow.”
Feeling towards climate change
In addition to asking the children at Primrose Lane Primary School in Boston Spa, Leeds, what they think, the poll also found out what kids from all over the UK they feel about climate change.
Around nine in 10 (85 per cent) said they’re worried about the future of the planet – in fact, 31 per cent have even had nightmares about it.
While two thirds (62 per cent) fear it will be too late to stop climate change by the time they’ve grown-up.
As a result, 83 per cent of children think grown-ups need to do more to help protect the planet - which might explain why 49 per cent of youngsters have scorned their parents for their ‘un-green’ ways.
These include leaving lights on unnecessarily (46 per cent), buying fast fashion (36 per cent), and driving a ‘gas guzzler’ (32 per cent).
And why a quarter (25 per cent) would like to see schools up their game when it comes to being more sustainable.
Almost half (46 per cent) would like to see their educational institution recycling more, while 41 per cent think electric school buses should be use and 39 per cent want to see more trees and flowers in school grounds.
Encouragingly though, more than half of kids think by being eco-friendly they can make a difference themselves – suggesting they think everyone has a role to play.
Looking to the future, those polled believe they will be better at switching lights off (49 per cent) than adults are currently – they will also recycle more (53 per cent) and use less plastic (50 per cent).
Carried out through OnePoll, the study also found kids are confident they’ll tend to walk or cycle to places rather than drive (37 per cent) and if they do drive, it will be in an electric car (35 per cent).
Alok Sharma, COP26 President, said: “The role of young people in tackling climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our generation, will be crucial.
"It requires action from each of us on an individual and collective basis and I’m keen to hear from young people across the country, through National Grid’s Voices for a Green Future competition.
"I want them to raise their voices so that their interests are heard loud and clear at COP26."
For further information on National Grid’s Voices for a Green Future competition, which opens today (Monday 21 June ) click here [www.nationalgrid.com/voicesforagreenfuture]
TOP FIVE WAYS CHILDREN WOULD FIX CLIMATE CHANGE:
• Hamster-powered trains.
• A ban on homework because it uses too much paper.
• Running cars on ‘special’ chocolate instead of petrol.
• An increase in the number people opting to travel by trampoline.
• More people travelling by jetpack.