Members of Children’s Parliament at Scottish Parliament
Scottish Futures Forum – August 2021
Maya (aged 11), Mollie (aged 11) and Ben (aged 11) live in Fort William and are Members of the Children’s Parliament (MCPs). Since October 2020, the children have been part of Scotland’s Climate Assembly – the first climate citizens’ assembly to have directly involved children. Over 100 children across Scotland were involved and, like the adult assembly members, learned about climate change and its impacts, and the solutions Scotland can take. The children’s 41 Calls to Action on how Scotland should tackle the climate emergency were laid in Scottish Parliament as part of the Climate Assembly recommendations. Find out more here:
In August 2021, Ben, Mollie and Maya, Members of Children’s Parliament from the Highlands joined adult members in a meeting with over 75 Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) from across Scotland online to discuss their involvement in Scotland’s Climate Assembly and their favourite calls to action.
Mollie, age 10, explained that children want to see single-use plastic banned in Scotland. This call to action inspired the adult assembly members to rethink and revise their own recommendation on this issue.
Maya, age 11, discussed the children’s call to actions for better climate education for children and adults. She feels that too often, children learn about things like littering, but not the bigger picture. This has to change, so everyone can be part of the solutions needed.
Finally, Ben, age 11, shared the children’s call for a national tree planting day in Scotland. As Ben explained, we have to make sure that we plant native trees and work with those who own and manage the land in Scotland to make this work.
Next there was time for questions from the MSPs.
Responding to Mark Ruskell’s question about what change to tackle the climate emergency will be the hardest for Scotland, Ben said “I think the hardest thing is getting people on board. We keep saying it is an emergency but people still don’t listen to us.”
The Members of Children’s Parliament also shared their ideas with Colette Stevenson MSP about why global businesses must make big sustainable changes to the way they work – such as using sustainable packaging materials and electric vehicles for distributing goods.
Yesterday’s discussion really demonstrates why involving children in decision-making processes about the climate emergency is so important. It’s all about making children’s rights real for children today, and in the future. Well done Ben, Mollie and Maya!
A full write up of the event can be found here.