BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 09 Dec '14

EIGHT ‘ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPIONS’ MEET MEPS TO TALK SUSTAINABILITY

Eight talented children from Somerset, Cambridge and Hounslow have been named environmental champions following their success in a national video competition run by Eurostar and the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE).

As part of their prize, Esme Mirzoeff (11), Nancy Wang (12), Natalie Holton (12), Charlotte Lane (12), Natalia Zernicka-Glover (12), Bushra Amjad (16), Joanna Hodgkinson (16) and Simran Karwal (16), travelled by Eurostar to Brussels to present their views on the environment directly to MEPs in the European Parliament.

The winners in Brussels

 

The young people produced and starred in a short video to enter and win the ‘Have your say on sustainability’ competition, voicing their views on topics ranging from deforestation to use of fossil fuels.

‘We really want out opinion to be heard, and I think that there should be more of these competitions to help make that possible, and that more people should sign up to them. I think our speech went really well and that we got our message across.’

Bushra Amjad, winner

The competition encouraged anyone aged 11-18 to talk, sing or act out dramas about environmental issues they really care about – alone or in a group of up to four – and record the drama or documentary using the camera on their phone, tablet or laptop.

‘It was great to give another group of young and enthusiastic people the chance to share their ideas in Europe. This is the third year we have run the competition and we always aim to identify the most environmentally aware young people in the UK. Once again, the response from the MEPs shows how well the winners delivered their ideas.’

Peter Littlewood, Director of Young People’s Trust for the Environment

The winners had the chance to travel to Brussels and meet with MEPs to discuss the environmental issues closest to their hearts with Europe’s top decision makers. They also won £250 of technology vouchers for their schools and four return Eurostar tickets to Paris.

‘It was a pleasure to hear from such talented and passionate young people, whose wining ideas on a range of issues showcased their high level of knowledge on climate change.

‘All the MEPs that attended were impressed with their confidence and maturity, and we will definitely take account of their innovative suggestions for action in our work on this critical issue.’

Lucy Anderson, MEP

The ‘Have your say on sustainability’ competition is part of a partnership between Eurostar and the YPTE to support free accessible education on the environment. It’s an element of Eurostar’s ‘Tread Lightly’ programme, which has been designed to reduce the company’s impact on the environment and to encourage consumers – both young and old – to think differently about the way they travel.

‘Working with the YPTE allows us to offer young people the chance to share their views with some of Europe’s key decision makers, and we had a great group of confident young people with us today. Their passion to protect our planet has been a real inspiration, and we’re proud to give them a voice in the European Parliament.’

Luke Ervine, Head of Environment and Energy for Eurostar

The Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE) is a registered charity that offers free educational services to schools and young people, including competitions and award schemes, free talks and presentations in schools and a free online information service for teachers and young people. To find out more, visit ypte.org.uk.