Young people discuss how to reduce carbon emissions with West of England policymakers

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How can we take 40% of traffic off our roads, heat our homes without fossil fuels and reduce our waste by 2030?  These are some of the questions young people will be tackling at the Youth Engineering for Environmental Sustainability Summit (YEESS), 11 – 13 October 2021. 

Designed by the Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation (DETI) Inspire educational team at UWE Bristol (supported by the West of England Combined Authority) in collaboration with the “I’m an Engineer” outreach team, YEESS gives young people a voice to mitigate the impact climate change has on their futures.

Sixth form students across the West of England will be challenged to critically evaluate the feasibility of carbon emission reduction strategies to achieve Net Zero 2030. Each day of the summit, the students will address a different aspect of sustainability and engage with local engineers and politicians through live online discussions.

The online discussions will include Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees on 11 October, and Councillor Toby Savage from South Gloucestershire Council and Councillor Sarah Warren from Bath & North East Somerset Council on 12 October.

On 13 October, West of England Mayor Dan Norris, will join in activities with schools in person at We The Curious and will be answering questions in a live online event.

Young people will directly ask the politicians questions, and the resulting discussions will be communicated to policymakers in the West of England, and showcased to international audiences at COP26.

Programme

YEESS delegates will be assessing three core targets (and the suggested solutions) mapped into the Bristol and West of England action plans:

  • How might we take 40% of traffic off our roads by 2030?
  • How might we heat our homes without fossil fuels by 2030?
  • How might we reduce our waste by 65% by 2030?

For each target, students will investigate the issue, imagine solutions framed by experts and then refine those ideas through online discussions before the daily Q&As with politicians.

The full programme of events can be found at https://yeess.imanengineer.org.uk/.

Legacy Materials from YEESS will also be available on the DETI Inspire resource hub for KS3, 4 and 5.

About DETI Inspire

DETI Inspire champions science for children in the West of England with a particular focus on breaking stereotypes and challenging perceptions about STEM careers in order to appeal to under-represented groups in engineering. Our vision is for every young person in the West of England to have access to inclusive, engaging and inspiring engineering experiences with real-life relatable role models. We make it our mission to support and inspire the next generation of digital engineers.

For more information, please visit https://www.digitaltrailblazers.net/about or contact engineeringourfuture@uwe.ac.uk

About I’m an Engineer

I’m an Engineer is a student-led, online STEM engagement and enrichment project. Since 2012 it has connected 25,000 students with 370 engineers. Evaluation shows the online format is highly effective at reaching and engaging young people, especially those under-served by other STEM interventions.

Local Action Plans

This summit is based on Bristol City Council’s Climate Action plan. West of England Combined Authority’s Climate Action plan is currently being reviewed.

About COP26

The COP26 event is a global United Nations summit about climate change and how countries are planning to tackle it. COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994.

The meeting taking place in Glasgow in November 2021 will be the 26th meeting, which is why it’s called COP26. You can read more about the aims of COP26 here: https://eciu.net/analysis/briefings/inter national-perspectives/what-is-cop26-who-will-attend-it-and-why-does-it-matter?s=08

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