Good Energy has appointed a group of youth to serve on an advisory board with no adults allowed. Here’s what some of them have to say about what they hope to bring
It is no secret that children are very interested in protecting the planet. More than 1 million young people around the world have called on governments to take urgent action on climate change, and youth activists from 13-year-old Mari Copeny in Flint, Michigan, to 18-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden, appear regularly in the headlines of your candid opinions.
In an attempt to harness the passion of young people, the renewable energy company Good energy launched a search for six young people to join its first Good Future Board. Their goal is to get fresh ideas on how to build a sustainable future, from the generation that will live in it.
Composed entirely of youth ages 12-17, the Good Future Board will have the opportunity to review and provide input on how Good Energy works. Importantly, they will also be able to tell adults when they think they are wrong.
We spoke to four of the newly appointed members.
Mahnoor Kamran |
Born in Pakistan, Mahnoor Kamran, who grew up in the Middle East before moving to the UK two years ago, approaches the climate emergency through an inclusive lens.
Having seen how the climate crisis has affected her family in Pakistan, the 16-year-old wants to make sure that solutions do not exclude ethnic minority communities and those in developing countries.
“Climate change … will affect everyone, but it will affect people of color disproportionately, regardless of where they are,” he says.
Climate change will affect everyone, but it will affect people of color disproportionately
One of Good Energy offset projects in India, where cow manure is converted into clean, renewable energy for cooking, sparked Kamran’s interest in the Good Future Board. “What really surprised me about this company is that, unlike others, they don’t wash green and think a lot about the global south,” he says.
As well as being eager to have a say on how Good Energy examines its impact beyond the UK, Kamran also hopes to influence how the company approaches green investing.
A keen environmental activist, the teen won’t shy away from telling adults where they are going wrong. “It can be difficult, it can be overwhelming, but I think it’s important that we correct them… because if we don’t and they make mistakes and still continue with their lifestyle, it will impact them, their children and the future. Generation.”
Similarly, 13-year-old Shaina Shah is not afraid to speak up. “I admire anyone who has the courage and confidence to stand up to someone and say ‘no, that’s not right, ‘”he says.
Although she counts Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks, and suffragettes among the social justice activists who inspire her, she wants to show people that you don’t have to be a household name to make a difference.
“I definitely think that if you are confident in what you believe and if you stick with it, if you present it well, if you speak calmly and confidently, all of these things will help you express your point of view and persuade whoever you are trying to. persuade, ”he says. It’s something you’ve put into practice, for example, by writing to a hotel where you stayed and asking them to stop using single-use miniature toiletries.
I admire anyone who has the courage to stand up and say ‘no, that’s not right ‘
As a member of the Good Future Board, Shah plans to take a creative approach to problem solving. “I love brainstorming and finding solutions to problems, and I like working as a team,” he says.
Her experience includes being part of a team of school counselors who challenged the use of plastic containers in the lunchroom, resulting in a discount on lunches for students who bring their own reusable containers.
17-year-old Akash Thaker also knows the job of reducing waste very well.
For the past two years, the Leicester college student has worked part-time at the circular economy startup The Good Plate Company. As a waste manager, Thaker’s work has included educating festival goers on how to separate garbage, helping to divert waste from the landfill.
Through his position on the Good Energy board of directors, he is interested in learning more about the benefits of renewable energy and using the knowledge he gains to educate others and build networks. “I really applied in order to have an impact not only [at Good Energy] the best I can, but also [to] Introduce them to people, especially in the local area, who might want more information on renewable energy, ”he says.
Thaker adds, “I want to show other people how it works because they might be a bit skeptical.”
At 12 years old, Jack Solly is the youngest member of the board. He credits David Attenborough’s documentaries with opening his eyes to the devastating effects of the climate crisis and pollution. And, like the veteran naturalist, he wants to inspire people to act to protect the environment.
“There are some amazing places of natural beauty in the world and I’m afraid they won’t be around when I’m older,” says Solly. “I look forward to influencing Good Energy to make some positive decisions for the climate.”
Lead Image: Carlos Roso