With COP26 turning to focus upon education, youth and public empowerment it is welcoming to see the plans and collaborative talks for further integration of climate into the curriculum and the introduction of a new Climate Leaders Award. However the question remains are we really doing enough to empower future generations, not only in terms of the climate challenge, but equitably, and globally?
In 2050 Greta Thunberg will be 47. She and her peers really are the leaders of tomorrow. Greta has been a phenomenon in raising awareness and mobilising protest but we need more than activists, however an important role they play. We need innovators, entrepreneurs, pioneers and change makers who can make a new global low-carbon economy a reality. This isn't just about broadening awareness of climate and the environment, although that is a good start, we need to make sure that our young people are given the skills, the confidence and the positive encouragement to be the solution finders and the facilitators of social change, in practical terms. This is across all parts of society and across different communities. It is only this way we will focus on equitable adaptation and resilience to climate change, where even with a 1.5oC pathway, disastrous climate events will be the norm.
Throughout history civilisations have evolved and its our young people who need to be forefront and centre for this much needed eco-evolution and at a global scale.
At Burges Salmon we're focused on youth with our award winning 'Working with Schools' programme, however we need to challenge ourselves too, to make sure we are playing our fullest role in empowering youth, and to view them as discrete stakeholders with a powerful voice. In this way they will help us shape a meaningful responsible business agenda with appropriate ambition that delivers today and tomorrow.
The education secretary - who is also the climate change minister for his department - said the "education and empowerment of youth" was important and education ministers from other countries are coming together at COP26 on Friday to learn from each other.