90 Environmental UpRisers visit Parliament to debate climate change

90 Environmental UpRisers visit Parliament to debate climate change

May 26, 2017


On Tuesday May 9th UpRising brought together 90 young people from London, Birmingham and Manchester to visit Parliament and Whitehall to learn about the workings of Parliament, Government and the people behind them.

The visit formed part of our new, nine-month Environmental Leadership Programme, which provides young people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds with a unique first-hand view of the way that political, business, public sector and community organisations work together to shape our environment and make change.

The day started with two sessions;  the first to explore how policy is developed and implemented by members of the Civil Service, specifically from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Parliamentary select committee that oversees them. The second  highlighted accessibility and entry points into the civil service and included graduates of both the Civil Service Fast Track programme and the Apprenticeship Scheme.

Sessions were followed by a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, where UpRisers were able to visualise where power lies in Westminster and where decisions that affect their day to day lives are made.


The visit culminated with the UpRising Energy and Climate Change #GE2017 Big Debate, kindly sponsored and hosted by DONG energy. Speakers included: Lord Deben, Chair, Committee on Climate Change, Sir Edward Davey, Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and Liberal Democrat candidate for Kingston and Surbiton, Cllr Caroline Russell, Green Party Member of the London Assembly and Ibrahim Dogus, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Cities and Westminster and Entrepreneur. A lively debate was held where speakers laid out the key energy and climate change challenges that they would like to see addressed over the next parliament and responded to questions and challenges from the next generation of environmental leaders.

Reflecting on the event and meeting UpRisers, the speakers had this to say:

“Meeting the UpRisers was a real tonic.  The organisation is nurturing some exceptional talent.” 
Lord Deben

"It was fantastic to see so many young people representing Britain in her wonderful diversity, and coming together to debate climate change. Their knowledge and passion was inspirational and should be a lesson to those Trump-like politicians who still persist in denying the science and threatening our future."
Sir Edward Davey

"It was brilliant to meet so many young people motivated by and engaged in influencing policy on climate change at local and national level.  The questions are always the making of a good hustings debate and the Uprising team came up with some really good ones that made strong links back to our everyday lives and how we can all contribute to staying within 1.5 degrees C."
Caroline Russell

"I really enjoyed taking part in the panel discussion and I learnt so much from the other panel members and the audience. I was inspired by the passion of my fellow panel members and the truly admirable engagement of the young people there, who defy the offensive cliche of the disinterested millennial. I will incorporate what I learnt into my campaigning efforts and welcome any further ways to collaborate to secure meaningful action on climate change"
Ibrahim Dogus

The Environmental Leadership Programme is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and is part of the Our Bright Future programme. UpRising is a member of the consortium of organisations which runs this forward-thinking social movement.