One important element of engaging young people in the Cumbrian fight against climate change is the annual Youth Climate Summit. This is a meeting of schools from across the county where the students can discuss their ideas for a more climate friendly Cumbria. Organised by CAfS and CDEC, it is also supported by Cumbria County Council, Fellfoot Forward and Eco-Schools.
At the 2021 summit, over 500 students from 15 schools took part and helped shape the recommendations of the overall youth response that year. These included calls for:
- cycling to be made a safer transport option with more cycle lanes around Cumbria
- reduced costs of public transport
- schools and their local communities to turn waste ground into attractive shared spaces with opportunities to grow produce
- increased recycling, reducing food waste and plastic packaging
- increased opportunities for young people to engage on local climate-related decision-making, including representation where appropriate at council meetings.
They presented the outcomes to Councillor Celia Tibble (Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Environment) and Karen Mitchell (co-chair of ZCCP and CEO of CAfS).
They also produced a this short video featuring students from across Cumbria expressing their concerns and hopes for climate action.