RCPCH publishes a summary of children and young people’s perspectives on how to tackle climate change

The summary brings together the Children and Young People’s (CYP) key recommendations from the recent RCPCH report, Preserving the world for future generations, and aims to provide decision makers and paediatricians with a digestible summary of our evidence.
Graphic of a globe being held up by 2 children and 2 adults with some wind turbines in the background.

Preserving the world for future generations, published in October 2023, gives a thorough insight of how CYP in the UK and internationally perceive and comprehend climate change. By splitting the recommendations from the report into key themes, this summary, published today, allows readers to view the evidence from the more detailed report in a glance. 

The young people that volunteer their time to RCPCH &Us Climate Changers have significantly contributed to the development of both the report and summary. In a recent meeting they recognised that decision makers and paediatricians are busy people and expressed the importance of a condensed version of the report. They hope a shorter version of the report will help it be read by everyone that needs to see it. 

The themes summarised are:

  • Advocacy and shaping policy
  • Mental health support
  • Education
  • Creating a safe and healthy environment
  • Health inequality
  • Not about me without me.

Dr Helena Clements, RCPCH Officer for Climate Change, said: 

I want to say a huge thank you to all of the young people for all the wonderful work they have done leading to this report and summary. To the RCPCH &Us Climate Changers, you should be so proud of everything you have achieved this year both in this report and all the other excellent projects you’ve volunteered your time to. Big congratulations from me.

The first step in climate action is to talk about it. It is a priority of mine to make sure the health of children comes first in climate change conversations, so it is also a priority to listen to what they need. Preserving the world for future generations does an excellent job at bringing together the voices of so many children young people and listening to what matters most to them with regard to climate change. 

I hope that this supporting summary can draw attention to the report and put the voices of children into the hands of people that can really make change. It is concerning to read the extent of evidence showing the level of eco distress that our young people are experiencing. It is up to adults to act now on behalf of them. 

I urge you to read the report and decide what action you can take today that might ease burden felt by younger generations.