On 2 December 2014, we travelled with eight young people to the European Parliament in Brussels. They were the winners of 'Have Your Say On Sustainability', Eurostar and YPTE's competition that challenges 11-18 year-olds to make videos on the environmental issues that really concern them.
The winners met with MEPs at the European Parliament and were able to both deliver their presentations on their chosen topics to some of Europe's key decision makers and to ask them questions about how some of the big issues might be solved in the future.
It was a fantastic day for Esme, Bushra, Joanna, Simran, Natalie, Nancy, Charlotte and Natalie.
Lucy Anderson, MEP, who hosted the debate:
"It was a pleasure to hear from such talented and passionate young people, who’s wining ideas on a range of issues showcased their high level of knowledge on climate change. All the MEPs that attended to listen to their ideas were impressed with their confidence and maturity, and we will try to keep their thoughts in mind with our own work.”
Esme Mirzoeff, winner, said: “Meeting the MEPs and learning how they work was really interesting, and being able to share my ideas with them was something I’m very proud of. I also met young people from other schools across the country who are just as interested in the environment as me and we’re all planning to keep in touch!”
Luke Ervine, Head of Environment and Energy for Eurostar, said:
“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.
Peter Littlewood, Director, Young People’s Trust for the Environment said:
“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.”
The ‘Have your say on sustainability’ competition is part of an ongoing partnership between Eurostar and YPTE to support free accessible education on the environment. This forms part of Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme of initiatives, designed to reduce the business’ impact on the environment and encourage consumers – both young and old - to think differently about the way they travel.
You can see a video of the winners' trip to Brussels here.