Kids plot climate change fight

They are the generation that will have to live with the effects of climate change and yesterday they were determined to do something about it. As scientists around the world confirmed that the planet is getting hotter and the blame lies in human hands, children at Elm Tree Primary School were plotting their own strategy to fight global warming.

They are the generation that will have to live with the effects of climate change and yesterday they were determined to do something about it.

As scientists around the world confirmed the planet was getting hotter and the blame did lie in human hands, children at Elm Tree Primary School were plotting their own strategy to fight global warming.

And yesterday, after six weeks of painstaking research and organisation, the Lowestoft youngsters hosted their first climate change conference, aimed at tackling the issues threatening their future.

Invites for the prestigious event were sent far and wide, to Tony Blair, Prince Charles and even former US vice-president Al Gore, who has recently been nominated for a Nobel peace prize for his climate campaign.

But while the VIP guests were unable to attend, all three sent letters of encouragement and support to the young people involved.

From melting ice caps and desertification, to hurricanes and CO2 emissions, people from across the area crowded into the school hall to listen to presentations by the Year 4 pupils and join in the debate.

Most Read

The audience was also called upon to take part in a number of votes, testing their awareness of environmental issues and gauging local opinion.

Speaking at the end of the conference, one of the students involved, Stephanie Kinghorn, nine, said she hoped the day would make people think about what they could do to stop climate change.

She said: "We have all learned a lot from this project, but it has got us worried about flooding.

"By the time we have grandchildren, Lowestoft could be under water, and there will be extremes of weather.

"I hope it makes people think about recycling and not wasting energy."

Meanwhile, Matthew McMillan, eight, and Rianna Coote, also eight, who

penned the invites to Prince Charles and Tony Blair, were proudly showing off their replies.

Matthew said: "We were told we could write to anyone we liked, so I wrote to Prince Charles because he likes protecting the environment and he is involved in green issues.

"I couldn't believe it when he wrote back - we had just finished a maths test and I was given the letter and I had to read it out to the class. It was very exciting."

Last night, headteacher Hilary Day said she was proud of what the students had achieved.

"What we need to be doing in school is empowering children and giving them an awareness of what is happening in the world," she said.

"Climate change is so important to this generation, and this conference is

about giving these young people a voice; letting them have a say in the international debate."