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More than 100 pupils from seven schools across Northamptonshire have been urged to “be part of the solution” as the world tackles a global climate emergency.

The rallying call was issued by high-profile environmental campaigner David Saddington during a day-long series of eco-themed lectures, workshops and taster sessions held as part of Northampton College’s latest ‘Ignite The Spark’ event, entitled ‘Supporting Sustainable Futures’.

The climate change influencer, who has revolutionised government policy and sustainable business strategy, warned: “We are in the middle of a global climate emergency and we all need to be part of the solution. We have waited too long to do something, and it will probably get worse before it gets better, but it is not too late. It is the challenge of our generation to do something, we all have agency in this.”

Following the lecture, pupils from schools including Northampton School for Boys, Weston Favell Academy, Campion School, Abbeyfield School, Caroline Chisholm School, Weavers Academy and Welland Park Academy took part in a series of interactive workshops relating to the environment including a session on the use of fossil fuels versus biofuels and taster activities to discover how engineers are working to make everyday life more sustainable.

Students also enjoyed a ‘day in the life’ talk from special guest Sorcha Leavey, sustainability officer for SaxaVord Spaceport, the designated spaceport for the UK Pathfinder launch in 2022 by Lockheed Martin and ABL Systems which is currently developing a ground station in the Shetlands.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal of Northampton College, said: “An increasing number of young people are becoming aware of the role they need to play in advocating environmental change and establishing sustainability for the future.

“Greta Thunberg, Lesein Mutunkei and Autumn Peltier are among many young activists who have highlighted the importance of the impact of climate change and the role we must play in protecting our planet.   

“The green economy is a huge priority for the UK, making this an exciting time to work in the environmental sector. There is a wide range of ‘green-collar’ jobs for young people to consider, with huge growth expected in wind and wave power, bio energy, energy and waste management and plug-in electrical vehicles.

“This event goes a long way to igniting the spark in a new intake of students who have the environment at their heart and have the passion and skills to make a difference for generations to come.”