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Getting young people’s voices heard with Unlock Next Gen

– 2 min read

Emma Walker, Unlock Next Gen member, discusses who we are, what we’re doing, and what she’s most excited about it when it comes to taking action.  

Welcome to Unlock Next Gen: a new hub for young people to share thoughts and concerns on climate change, consider solutions, and take action together. 

Created by Unlock Net Zero in partnership with Youth Charter and Places for People, Unlock Next Gen is a space for ‘the next generation’ to talk openly – and have our voices heard. 

So, what are Unlock Next Gen’s plans? 

We would obviously love to say our aim is to tackle climate change by 2025 and save the world, but we’ve got to be realistic here.  

In the lead up to the first carbon neutral Commonwealth Games, opening on 28 July in Birmingham, we will be talking – a lot. 

That may sound quite simple, but by having conversations with experts across a range of sectors, people who are passionate about the environment and everyone in between, we can build influence and drive which will lead to change. 

My main environmental focus 

I don’t claim to be an expert on climate change – in fact, I only began paying proper attention to environmental issues a couple of years ago. But now, at 24 years old, the penny’s well and truly dropped and I’m shocked more hasn’t been done by the Government before now – something I think many young people agree with. 

As a newbie eco-warrior, I’m really interested in reducing waste and every day I take small but significant steps, such as: 

  • using vegan food wrap instead of cling film 
  • picking up after my dog with biodegradable bags 
  • visiting my local refill shop for seeds, nuts and muesli  
  • using reusable cloths to wipe up messes instead of kitchen roll. 

Supporting biodiversity is also important to me, and I have high hopes of working on some great projects with younger children this summer. 

In short, it’s safe to say I’m excited to be on the Unlock Next Gen team. We all bring our own knowledge, passion and opinions to the table and I believe we’re going to get the ball rolling on the conversations young people need to have with decision makers – and really put the pressure on to make change happen now. 

Find out more 

If you’d like to know more about the team behind Unlock Next Gen, join the conversation on our podcast, or contribute to our blog, get in touch at unlock.nextgen@placesforpeople.co.uk – we’d love to hear from you! 

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