Search for Youth to Influence Way to Cut Carbon Footprint; EDUCATION WALES Wales Offers Chance for Fresh Young Team of Climate Change Champions

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Bodinger

THE SEARCH is on for the next group of climate change champions for Wales.

Six outstanding young people will act as ambassadors for green issues, spreading the word about how people can take simple, effective actions to reduce their carbon footprint, focusing on energy, water and transport use.

The current champions, who step down from their roles in December, launched the search with help from green teens at Cardiff High School, who are aiming to be among the first in the city to enter the competition.

Cardiff High is home to current climate change champion TomWilliams, 16, of Cyncoed, who met up with fellow champions James Fletcher, 17, of Hengoed, Ashley Yarrow, 16, of Tonteg and Katie Gupwell, 15, of Cilfynydd, at the silver-awarded Eco School.

The school has a well-established eco-committee and pupils have been working hard to make the school more conscious of the cost and environmental impact of leaving computers running and lights turned on.

Now pupils have their fingers crossed that one of them will follow in Tom's footsteps.

TomWilliams said of his year in office: "Being a climate change champion has given me the opportunity to speak to a variety of different groups on the issue. My knowledge of the subject has improved immensely and the opportunity to influence the way Wales approaches the biggest threat facing the world today has been unmissable."

Katie Gupwell said: "I've learnt so much about climate change issues and I've been able to speak to a variety of audiences, this year has been jam-packed."

Ashley Yarrow added: "During my role, I have been a voice for young opinions of climate change and have motivated audiences in becoming more aware of the issues our planet faces. …