Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Young climate change reporters

by Aakash, 15
for BBC News School Report

Aakash, 15, from London is attending the UN Climate Change Conference with development charity Plan UK
Aakash interviews Cerith and Annie, in the UK, and Graeme in Copenhagen

Four young reporters are heading to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to report for the BBC.

From 7 to 18 December, world leaders will meet at what's been branded "the most important meeting of mankind" to make a treaty on how to combat climate change - and the youth journalists will be there to fight the corner for young people.

How does climate change affect young people in Africa? School Report will be hearing from students in:
South Africa

Three of our reporters will be on location during the second week of the summit and will be reporting back to the UK on what's going on.

And one of them is already in Copenhagen. He's one of 160 young people from 44 countries who will produce a declaration of children's concerns and ideas about climate change to be handed to the UN.

I interviewed the reporters over the phone from a radio studio in Television Centre in London on 1 December to find out more about them and their reasons for going.

Graeme, 14, from Shawlands, Glasgow, attends Hillpark Secondary School and is a UNICEF UK young climate activist.

He is already in Copenhagen for the Children's Climate Change Forum, which takes place from November 28 to December 4, and has been inspired by what young people in developing countries are getting up to.

The forum is setting an example for world leaders. "All the young people have come to an agreement on how climate change can be tackled," he said.

He believes that if a treaty is not agreed at Copenhagen young people will be severely affected. "It will be a threat to their health, a threat to their human rights and a threat to their right to feel safe," he added.

Annie, 15, from Stonehouse in Gloucestershire, goes to Maidenhill School and is attending the conference with development charity Plan UK.

She believes that someone needs to be at Copenhagen to get young people's views across - and she aspires to do just that.

Aakash, 15, from London is attending the UN Climate Change Conference with development charity Plan UK
Aakash puts the finishing touches to his report

She hopes to interview young people from developing countries to see how they are tackling climate change. Then she wants to relay the information back to young people in the UK so they can act.

Although Annie does want to meet Obama, she also wants to know how lesser-known leaders would combat climate change themselves, and "what they would do if all these barriers weren't in the way".

Cerith, 16, from Ammanford, attends Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera near Swansea. He is attending the conference as a Climate Change Champion for Wales with the Welsh Assembly.

He hopes to champion the views of young people whilst he is in Copenhagen. He is looking for a treaty which is ambitious, binding and far-reaching.

He believes that it is important for young people to act now and to realise that climate change will affect us the most. His top tip for young people is to "be brave and speak up, because whenever you speak up, people are going to listen."

As for me, I'm Aakash, 15, and I go to Nower Hill High School in north west London. I am attending the conference with development charity Plan UK and am also a UK Youth Parliament member for Harrow.

I will endeavour to make sure that all young people in the UK know what is happening at Copenhagen and how it will affect them.

2050 will be the impact year, and the people who it will affect the most - is us: the young people of today, so it is essential that our views are put across in Copenhagen. I hope to meet the big names in politics and tell them what young people really think.

My top tip is for young people is: "Be aware of your actions. Walk to school or turn off the lights; the small things can make a big impact.

The young reporters are keen to hear from other young people, so they can put their comments and questions about climate change to the leaders at the conference.

Teachers, please send contributions from your class using the form below. (If you are a student, please ask your teacher to complete the form on your behalf.)

Your Email address
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The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

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