“INSPIRING” pupils from Westbourne in Penarth debated climate change at the Senedd in front of the very politicians tasked with confronting the climate emergency declared by the Welsh Government.

Young people took part in “MockCOP”, which is modelled on the UN’s Conference of the Parties, where representative from across the world meet to tackle climate change.

"It is so inspiring to see these young people being empowered to make their voices heard and being encouraged to share their great ideas for the future,” said Melanie Hill, Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, who sponsored the event.

Groups of three students, aged 14-18, were given a nation to represent; they then spoke on behalf of their allocated nation, presenting their respective claim and aiming to negotiate an agreement with the other nations.

“Climate Change is a subject many students feel motivated to act upon, and we want to empower young people to feel that they can be part of the solution,” said Eslpeth Jones, Director at Size of Wales, who co-ran the event with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.

Students from across South Wales have been involved in a number of high-profile Climate Strikes throughout the year – a movement started by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg.

“Since we declared a climate emergency earlier this year, young people from across Wales have been at the centre of our national conversation on what urgent action is required to address climate change,” said Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

“I know from speaking with young people across Wales just how engaged and passionate they are about the future our planet.”