Elstree School pupils attend Children's Parliament

Two Year 6 pupils from Elstree School took part in the first Children's Parliament in the United Kingdom. Passionate about the Climate Change emergency, Harry and Sophie were proud to be part of this event and hope to be involved in the next meeting.

Elstree School pupils attend Children's Parliament
Harry and Sophie with their favourite environmental books (Photo: Elstree School)

Two Year 6 pupils from Elstree School in Berkshire have enjoyed taking part in the first Children’s Parliament in the United Kingdom.

650 seven to eleven year-olds took part in this world record-breaking event for the largest gathering of a children's parliament.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the meeting and promised to take the children's suggestions to the COP26 Conference in Glasgow.

Sir David Amess was due to chair the meeting and answer the children's questions.

This event was very much Sir David's initiative and it is hoped this will be part of his legacy with an annual event being held in his memory.

Elstree pupils Harry and Sophie had worked really hard in preparing a question about banning all petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.

Their debate included the following statements:

"Mr Speaker, the climate emergency is real and urgent, however the practicalities of switching from fossil fuels to alternatives are complicated and will take time for us to tackle.

"The risk is if we rush in new rules to meet really challenging targets, we will cause immediate problems for the way we and others live now.

"These problems could trigger consequences which are not in the best interests of mankind either.

"Fourteen years is not a long time for industry to develop technology to replace the internal combustion engine.

"Banning all petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2035 would be a big step in the right direction, but what about the lorries on which our distribution network depends?

"Industry needs to be motivated to come up with new technology to power lorries.

"What is the Prime Minister proposing in this arena?”

Unfortunately there was not enough time to get to their question but they hope to be able to ask about this next time.

Speaker Peter Spencer-Lane added: “I wanted to offer a huge vote of thanks to all of you who were members of the first ever 'Children's Parliament'.

"I am sure you have made a real difference to the way young people are regarded and, of course, to our future."