Schools take part in MSP climate talks ahead of COP26

Almost 40 schools and 400 pupils across Lanarkshire and Falkirk have taken part in climate change talks with Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon ahead of the historic global summit COP26.

Monica, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson on net zero, energy and transport, championed ‘The Moment’ initiative in conjunction with the Children’s Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament, holding online and in-school surgeries with children and young people through the region. The tour begun in Airth Primary where Monica was quizzed by Primary 6 and 7 and concluded at St John Ogilvie High School in Hamilton with S3 and S6 putting the former pupil through her paces.

As well as visits to classrooms in Falkirk, North and South Lanarkshire, Monica held online climate surgeries with 24 primary schools and nine secondary schools.

Monica said: “Children and young people did not cause the climate emergency but are living with its consequences. Almost 400 children and young people took part in my climate surgeries in the countdown to COP26. Their voices must be heard, and I’m delighted their contributions will be reported to a special summit of global parliamentarians during COP26.

“The young people were very aware of the United Nations climate summit COP26 happening in Glasgow. They know this is our last best chance to get world leaders to take responsibility.

“Taking part in The Moment was inspiring. The children and young people asked big questions and shared big ideas. I pledge to bring their words with me to the Scottish Parliament and look forward to keeping our conversations going.”

Mr Alan Ross, Modern Studies Teacher at St John Ogilvie’s said: “Monica’s visit was a great opportunity for the young people to have their voices heard on such an important issue. The climate emergency will undoubtedly have an impact on their future and so it is important that they are fully involved in the discussion and Scotland’s response to tackling the coming challenges.”