Talking low carbon

On a ‘train’ to the climate future. From left: Betsan Martin, James Young-Drew and Anya Bukholt-Payne

We supported youth participation in the Asia Pacific meeting on Low Carbon Action in Hangzhou, China this month, by contributing funding towards travel expenses. The theme of the meeting was ‘achieving zero carbon through education’.

The attendees were James Young-Drew and Anya Bukholt-Payne, accompanied by Betsan Martin, Director of Response Trust. All are involved with climate responsibility and will be supporting submissions on New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill in the coming weeks. The meeting was an excellent opportunity for them to share their own experiences, expand their networks and learn from others.

“The Hangzhou conference highlighted the importance of globalised thinking and collaborative education in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and drive low carbon action,” said James. “We were exposed to educational case studies from across the Asia Pacific region and learnt many valuable lessons that could be applied to Aotearoa New Zealand.”

“Equally, there was considerable international interest in what we are doing, and the possibility of our organisations and programmes working together going forward.”

At the meeting, Anya gave a presentation, showcasing the recent Climate Change Leadership Conferences held across the country, and the development of educational climate change resources for high schools. These conferences, aimed specifically at young people, were supported by the National Commission earlier this year.

“I was incredibly grateful to have the chance to not only learn about other education programmes but also share stories of our mahi and young people with an international audience,” said Anya. “I presented about our programmes but also gave advice about how groups could engage more meaningfully with youth in their communities. Many attendees were very interested in this work and came to me for advice, or, inspired by the success of our programme, plans for youth innovations within their projects.”

Other presenters at the Asia Pacific meeting included a representative from UNESCO Bangkok, professors from the United Nations University based in Tokyo and representatives from Regional Centres of Expertise for Sustainable Development, including Sydney, India, South Korea and Japan.

The meeting was held in the Zero Carbon Museum in Hangzhou.

James Young-Drew and Anya Bukholt-Payne observing a low carbon model city.