School children to present declaration on Climate Change to policy-makers

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School children to present declaration on Climate Change to policy-makersThe EkoSkola 6th Young People's Summit was held today at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.

A number of schools participated in the summit which was led by Prof. Paul Pace, Director of the Centre for Environmental Education & Research of the University of Malta.

School children were asked to come up with innovative ideas to help combat climate change. Two rounds of workshops were held at Fort St Elmo, a stone's throw away from MCC, to draw up a Declaration on Climate Change. The declaration will be presented to policy-makers next month.

The event was organised by MEUSAC, the European Commission Representation in Malta and EkoSkola. Speakers included MEUSAC Head Vanni Xuereb, the Head of the European Commission Representation in Malta, Elena Grech, and MEP Miriam Dalli, who spoke via video conference.

Most children suggested car pooling as a means to reduce emissions, signage at traffic lights to alert drivers to switch off their cars until the lights change to green, solar energy farms for car owners to charge their vehicles instead of using electricity, odd-even car rationing, school transport subsidies for parents, electric buses, free public transport service during rush hours, solar-powered chargers for laptops and mobile phones, more trees to help absorb CO2 emissions, reduce intake or tax meat to reduce methane emissions, and to heavily cut down on junk mail.

Addressing the summit, Dr Xuereb referred to the historic signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by the EU and its 28 Member States which took place in New York on April 22. He said that the aim of the agreement is to reduce emissions to help slow down global warming. "It's clear there's a problem and if we don't do something about it, things will worsen," he said.

The Head of the European Commission Representation in Malta, Elena Grech spoke about the importance of recycling waste. She also referred to Earth Day, marked on April 22 – coincidentally the same day of the Paris Agreement signing ceremony.

Speaking via video conference, MEP Miriam Dalli said that the climate is changing and we hardly realise that we are the main contributors to this change. She urged students to encourage their parents and other family members to recycle waste for instance, or not to waste electricity or water. Together, she continued, we can fight climate change.

Photograph: DOI/Omar Camilleri

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