Date: June 13, 2019 Location:Reading Venue:Reading Council Chambers

Reading students played a big part at Reading’s 3rd Climate Strategy Consultation on 13th June 2019. Their contribution at ICN’s Reading Climate Conference in 2018 had been mentioned when the Council motion declared a Climate Emergency in February.

More than 120 people from all parts of Reading life were at Reading’s Civic Offices to address the question, ‘How can Reading businesses, utilities and our community work together to tackle climate change?.

ICN was delighted that students from Kendrick, Prospect and Reading School took part.

Sixth formers from Kendrick School made a speech at the start of the event and set the tone for the whole consultation.

Kendrick’s students made it clear that Climate Change is one of the most defining challenges we face saying, ‘The science is clear, the impact is real, the time to act is now’. They gave examples from round the world of the impact that is being felt right now and stressed that some of the world’s most innocent are being most affected.

Kendrick went on to raise the ethical question of inter-generational justice, as the risks being taken by those living today are imposed on future generations. They asked, ‘Are we going to invest in or erode our children’s futures?’.

During the event, participants took note of Kendrick’s call for everyone to take the opportunity to work together to make a difference. Good progress was made on ideas and actions for each of the 6 themes: energy and low carbon development, health, natural environment and green spaces, resources and consumption, transport, water supply and flooding. Out of these detailed discussions, a plan and events time-line will help the consultation be shared across Reading over the next 6 months.

A pupil from Reading School fed back to plenary about the Transport theme with ideas for action that he hoped could be included in schools’ own action plans: free transport for schools, and importantly, monitoring air quality. His final plea to all those taking forward Reading’s strategy was, ‘Please, never stop being ambitious’.