On Monday, April 3, 2017 MEUSAC and EkoSkola, in collaboration with the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment, and Climate Change, HSBC (Malta) and the European Commission Representation in Malta organised the 7th Young People’s Summit, which encouraged students from various primary and secondary schools to come together to voice their concerns and submit their proposals in relation to climate change, water resources and what is termed as the Circular Economy. The plenary and closing sessions took place at the Kirkop Sports Complex. The number of students who attended was 140.
Following a number of workshops, a draft declaration was compiled. Prof. Paul Pace, Director of the Centre for Environmental Education & Research of the University of Malta, is responsible for putting all the proposals and concerns together in one document which will be presented to policy-makers at a later stage.
Prof. Pace said that year after year, students emerged with innovative ideas to help combat climate change but this year was exceptional in terms of student ideas, even from primary students in relation to the Circular Economy, which isn’t the easiest of terms to understand. In a nutshell, the circular economy is an industrial economy that promotes greater resource productivity aiming to reduce waste and avoid pollution by design or intention.
An interesting point that came up during the debate was about a wave and tidal energy pilot project which was mentioned last year. In this year’s declaration, students will be asking policy-makers whether the results of the project turned out to be viable and if so, whether the project will be put into practice in the near future. Towards the end of the summit, both Minister Jose Herrera and HSBC CEO Mr Andrew Beane addressed the students.
Mr Beane cited an example where people can make a difference, even when engaging in small efforts, explaining to students that each year, HSBC is legally bound to print a report to its thousands of shareholders. He said that he calculated that it takes some 54 trees to produce the amount of paper needed to print this report, adding that he was advocating towards a change in the lain order to save trees.