Kirsten Leggatt: (Applause). Thank you. It's 2050 Climate Group, but that's fine I won't take it personally. So good afternoon everybody, I am Kirsten and I'm here to speak for the young people of the UK now and the generations that have not yet been born. In the year 2050 I will celebrate my 56th birthday. That's only the age of Michelle Obama today. The decisions made now will affect me and millions of other young people, for the rest of my life and beyond. So you've heard other views from the other people on the panel and experts today, but why should you be listening to me? I mean I may not have the experience of others here today, the years of experience; but, in addition to volunteering with the 2050 Climate Group and I'm chair of their leaders network, I am the community group coordinator for the UK Youth Climate Coalition, I'm building my career as a carbon consultant in the engineering sector, I tutor on the University of Edinburgh's postgraduate course in carbon management, and in my abundant spare time I share my knowledge of the climate crisis, I spread the message of behavior changes and advocate for a just transition to net zero. I eat, sleep, breathe, live the climate crisis and taking climate action. My view is that we need to stop talking about it and just start doing.#
For as long as I've been alive, and longer, the world has known and understood the causes and consequences of the climate crisis. But still, we are nowhere near where we need to be. It has only been in the last twelve years, that governmental policy has considered climate and the current policies in place do not come close to creating meaningful action across society to solve this crisis. The status quo is not working, things need to change. And they need to change quickly. From an early age, children look to their elders in a crisis. I mean it's all relative. These crises start as a scrapped knee when we learned to walk, and I don't think that search for reassurance ever stops. The experts are saying that we need to act now if we want to have any chance in stopping this crisis. But in the eyes of young people, the adults are just not doing enough. There's no reassurance and that's incredibly frustrating. We don't just need a target. Now we need a plan. The UK started the industrial revolution - it should be the UK that leads the world in fixing the problem. We can't just pass the buck to the global south, who are bearing the brunt of the problems caused by the climate crisis. Hearing stories from families around the world, we feel an overwhelming sense of fear, guilt, and responsibility, seeing the devastation that's now being caused in parts of California, Brazil and most recently Australia. It sends a shiver down my spine, I feel physically sick. I feel - how could we humans do this? And how can we just stand by and accept it?#
We need to change now and leave the world in a better place. This is a monumental challenge which requires the older generations and those who have the capacity to change things, to leave the world in the right state for the young, who don't. Inaction today is robbing from my future. Humans have caused this and humans will have to solve this. But it's not okay to take the biggest problem the planet now faces and put it on the shoulders of fourteen-year-olds. As young people, we have the greatest stake and therefore refuse to be silenced about our future. The youth movement is multi-faceted. No matter our methods, we will keep up our persistent action until the people in power do something. In this room, we all have an amazing opportunity to help change things. It's so important to get it right for the coming generations. So, I hope you will listen to the young people of today. With a seat at the table, our passion and determination will help get things done. We need to cut emissions in a just and sustainable way that is fair for all. Fair for future generations and not just fair for the privileged. We are angry about the past and we are certainly anxious about the present, so please, please - use your responsibility as the UK Climate Assembly to guide this country to a better state. To allow us to have real hope for the future. This is not a future consideration anymore. This is now. Thank you. (Applause).
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