Views of Cornish young people influence G7 leaders
Young people from Cornwall have formed part of an official youth engagement group for The G7 and Masters Graduate from the European Centre for Environment and Human, Emily Stevenson, was invited to support them in sharing their views with world leaders.
More than ten thousand young people between the ages of 18 and 30 were consulted across the G7 countries in the lead up to the event in Cornwall this June and their views were then summarised in a final communique which was presented to the G7 Leaders.
Among the headline findings of surveys with this group were:
- 1/3 of young people who participated in the survey felt uninformed about climate change
- 1/2 young people felt uninformed about antimicrobial resistance
- They saw lack of accessibility to information and insufficient education in schools as the biggest barriers
- There is significant eco-anxiety in this group
- Their No 1 priority was plastic pollution.
- A top priority for all was the importance of mental health
The Y7 Group were able to propose policy ideas to G7 Leaders and many of the areas highlighted were included in the G7 Leaders final Communique. Of particular note is the fact that Mental Health was included for the first time ever, a recognition that may not have been achieved without the Y7 input.
Emily Stevenon explains, “It was a direct result of what has been happening with young people, because of the Y7, because of the work that we’ve been doing and because we featured it in our communique. Boris Johnson himself said that it was because of all of that that mental health was featured in the final communique for the first time. This is really important to us and hopefully it will not only help de-stigmatise mental health but also make sure we’re working towards providing support for people who need it. It was so inspiring for me to see that when young people are given a voice, the power that can have. This could result in huge global change, just from a group of young people getting together and talking about what’s important to them.”
Listen to Emily Stevenson present the finding of the G7 Youth Group at ECEHH’s Peninsula Forum event also held in June 2021 and entitled ‘Making the Most of the G7 opportunity – How can thriving communities unite around health and wellbeing in balance with our natural environment’: