Date: October 18, 2019 Location:Cheltenham Venue:The Gardens Gallery

Politicians were challenged by Sixth Formers on Climate Change and behaviour at and event on 18th October when Vision21 in Cheltenham celebrated their 25th Anniversary!

Through ICN’s work in Cheltenham schools, students fed back that they would like the opportunity to question local politicians about what they and the local area were doing to tackle the Climate Emergency, and to have their own voices/views heard. ICN suggested the concept to Vision21 who did a fantastic job of taking it on and delivering the Question Time as part of their 25th Anniversary on 18th October.

Vision21 invited Sixth Formers from local schools to challenge a panel of 2 MEPs, 1 MP and 2 Councillors. Several of the schools had previously taken part in ICN Climate Conferences, and will be doing so again on 26th November 2019.

The politicians were challenged on both Climate Change and behaviour at the event! It was a lively session with heated disagreements between Members of the Panel on a wide range of issues across political party lines. The students took the politicians to task on their behaviour: asking for unity of purpose when confronting the climate emergency. Indeed, a serious concern was the ability of politicians to close the gulf which exists between politics and the general public.

Wilf from Pates Grammar asked whether Capitalism in prioritising profit over Climate issues was in itself sustainable. The panel was split.

Susie from Dean Close warned that legislators on climate change must avoid disbenefits for the poor.

Flynn from Cheltenham College wanted more awareness on the damage caused by Palmoil, a major cause of Asian deforestation.

Kevin from Balcarras wanted to know how to manage the oncoming Climate Refugee crisis.

The panel were unable to reach a collective conclusion on any of these complex issues but it is certain that students and politicians learned considerably: including how to behave!

Point of contact: Michila Critchley