Climate Emergency Commission by Youth Mayor Luke Willmoth

Hi there, my name is Luke and I am the Youth Mayor and a Young Advisor with Waltham Forest Council. In March 2019, we declared a ‘Climate Emergency’, committing ourselves as a council to take drastic and immediate action to this growing local issue; As such, in April 2019 we launched our ‘Climate Emergency Commission’ (CEC), and decided to place youth engagement and young people right at the heart of it – And that’s where I come in! As a keen Geographer myself, I have always had a keen interest in our natural environment, ensuring we preserve and protect it for generations to come, and so Climate Change Activism is something I feel strongly about. Our CEC is an independent board, composed of 10 local experts, who will be discussing and shaping local-level response to the climate emergency, before compiling a list of ‘policy asks’ for regional and national politicians.

To best inform the commission, surveys have been distributed collating the thoughts of local residents, but to ensure the response we gain is as inclusive as possible for young people, we have also created a youth engagement element. Our council team of ‘Young Advisors’ – and sister group ‘Youth Independent Advisory Group’ members – have been tasked, in partnership with Kaizen Research, to conduct a month’s worth of peer-to-peer outreach in the local community, opening dialogue about climate change and the CEC to our borough’s young people, finding out what compels them to take ‘climate justice’, and if not, what we can do as a local authority to better spread the word of our actions to reduce ecological footprint.

For me, seeing such a prevalent social issue taken, supported and hopefully actioned, means so much, showing that Waltham Forest is truly at the forefront of leading Youth Engagement and improving the Life Chances of all our borough’s young people. Having been a part of the outreach thus far and being the Lead for Youth Engagement for this outreach, I have thoroughly enjoyed conversations with many passionate young people, and am keen to see the path this research takes us.

If you know a young person with views on the Climate, point them to our awesome online survey or point them to our CEC Youth Hotline on: 020 8124 5088.