Zac ‘Takes a Stand’ on climate issues for COP26
As World leaders gather in Glasgow this week for COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, an RGS pupil and keen young climate activist has also been taking a stand.
Year Eight pupil Zac Johnson, formally presented a petition to Nick Baker, Deputy President of COP26. Zac has since been invited onto BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss the climate issues he feels so passionately about.
In the week prior to the School’s Half term break, Zac was invited to an event organised by young climate activists involved in the Tearfund ‘Take A Stand’ campaign (of which Zac is a member). The day was hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and held at Lambeth Palace, as well as also being live-streamed via YouTube and Instagram.
The day involved a live Q&A with both Justin Welby and Nick Baker, the Deputy Director of COP26 and later, Alok Sharma MP, the President of COP26, addressed the event via video. Zac, the youngest activist present, was one of two young people invited to present the Tearfund ‘Take A Stand’ petition and letter to Nick Baker, who promised to bring it to the attention of global leaders when they gather in Glasgow for COP26.
Zac said: “I got involved with the ‘Take a Stand’ campaign through a charity called Tearfund. I know Jack Wakefield, one of their campaigners and he invited me to be part of the group organising it. The campaign is important to me because it feels wrong that the people least affected by climate change are the ones contributing to it the most. I am very passionate about climate justice and ‘Take a Stand’ is fuelling that for me, and other young people, across the UK.
“It was an amazing experience to go to the event at Lambeth Palace and meet the Deputy Director of COP26, Nick Baker and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. It was a real privilege to be at such a significant event, and to have the chance to tell them what my generation wants them to do about the climate crisis. We then heard at the last minute [last Wednesday morning] that BBC Radio 5 Live wanted to speak to young climate activists, and I had just a few minutes to prepare. It was an exciting and slightly nerve-wracking experience!”
Zac joined Laura Young, another Tearfund campaigner on the show. To hear Zac discussing climate change and the ‘Take a Stand’ campaign on BBC Radio 5 Live, please click here. Zac is involved in the conversation at various points in the first half hour of the show – up to the news break.
Mrs Sally Houchin
Assistant Head of Year Eight