The rise of youth climate activism has been a political game-changer. With the right to vote for 16-year olds being a key demand of student Climate Strikers, how can young people's voice and calls for climate action be reflected in politics?
The youth climate strikes have taken place on Fridays with young people marching to political centres of power such as Parliament Square in London. In the UK, MPs are typically not in Parliament on Fridays, but at their constituency surgeries.
The legislators network GLOBE International has initiated the first Student-MP Climate Surgery on Friday 5 July 2019 during London Climate Action Week to put a practical spin on #FridaysforFuture. There are 73 MPs in London. One in nine of every UK member of parliament is a London MP.
Putting students in the driving seat, this is an opportunity for young people to ask what their London MP is doing about the climate emergency and hold them to account. For example, by asking...
What does Parliament's declaration of a climate emergency mean on the ground? How are climate impacts affecting the local community? What will Net Zero mean for local schools, jobs, homes, air quality and transport options? How will the international aspects of climate change such as food, travel, trade, immigration and humanitarian issues be addressed?
This event turns MP's traditional Friday surgery into a platform for climate dialogue and political education for young people. Empowering students to raise questions with their MPs directly is an exercise in practical citizenship and democratic accountability.
For MPs the Student-MP Climate Surgery is a valuable opportunity to interact with concerned young people on climate change. Initiated as a pilot during London Climate Action Week, it is intended as a mutuallly beneficial two-way dialogue and learning opportunity, making visible young people's concerns and identifying solutions. It builds on educational engagement with schools leading up to London Climate Action Week initiated by GLOBE International in collaboration with the World's Largest Lesson and London Sustainable Schools Forum.
PLEASE NOTE: Students wishing to participate can contact their local MPs directly, or register using the link below for support in connecting with participating MPs in this pilot Student-MP Climate Surgery.