Home 5 Climate change & the environment 5 What was it like at North West Net Zero Conference 2023?

What was it like at North West Net Zero Conference 2023?

Azra Eva Yavas
Azra Eva Yavas
Youth Focus North West hosted the second North West Net Zero Youth Conference on Saturday 25th November 2023. Read on to learn about the sorts of things happening throughout the day and how to find out more about topics discussed.
A packed lecture theatre listens to a talk at the North West Net Zero Youth Conference 2023.
A packed lecture theatre listens to a talk at the North West Net Zero Youth Conference 2023.

The North West Net Zero Youth Conference was incredibly informative and inspiring! The event is aimed to bring together young people age 13-19 from across the North West to share their thoughts and ideas about a range of climate and net zero topics including Energy, Transport, Green Jobs and Economy and Green Spaces.  

Read on to find out more about my experience of the day. I’ve grouped my thoughts into different topics, including the green economy, green spaces and others – so you can find the info that’s most important to you.

Green Economy

We examined the concept of a circular economy and routes to embedding a North West circular economy on our route to Net Zero.

The insights into green jobs, the prevalence of greenwashing in fashion companies like H&M and Zara, and the University of Salford’s commitment to a sustainable campus were particularly eye-opening. Challenges in transitioning to greener economies were addressed.

A noteworthy project in the Northwest, the Hynet, using hydrogen for clean energy and the retrofitting of homes & buildings, highlighted impactful initiatives. The group pitch sessions added an engaging element, active participation and discussions on project funding.

This session left us energized and motivated to contribute to a more sustainable future.

A young person writes a poem onto a green leaf.

Green Energy

This session revolved around the topic of renewable energies, harnessed from the sun, water, wind, and hydro sources, the new eco-friendly game-changers, waving goodbye to harmful gases and fossil fuels. Our actions have amped up the natural extinction rate to 1000 times the normal pace.

A Menti quiz on green energy was followed by lively debates, where one side passionately agrees and the other ardently disagrees to three different points listed on the board one being “Green Energy is not an achievable goal”.

This was a dynamic push towards a cleaner, greener future – one debate at a time!

Green Spaces

This was mostly an interactive session, learning about the impact of Green Spaces on our Net Zero goals and to our health and communities. They introduced us to current work happening to recover Peat Bogs and Sow the City’s projects to create more accessible green urban spaces.

We then wrote poems on leaves about our gardens from the point of view of an animal or a place in our community of exceptional beauty which gathered our creative minds in a multitude of ideas! Together, the tree’s leaves would be formed, representing nature in our communities.

Making seed bombs was also a thrilling experience including mixing substances made up of soil, clay and seeds in round balls to plant and watch them grow all year round!

Azra Eva Yavas
Azra Eva Yavas
“The Net Zero Event succeeded in delivering a well-rounded and immersive experience that catered to a diverse audience, impacting the viewers for a greener future to come. What a pleasure it was to take part in this insightful event!”

Green Transport

This included a lovely walking trail around Salford Campus, with questions along the way we would discuss in our groups about transport and ongoing problems and solutions to these.

One being “What could be improved about transport in your local community?” This interactive session allowed us to think and discuss about our local communities’ transport-wise and acknowledge goals and further solutions we could voice back to the government!

Back inside, each group gave a speech about green transport, and my group based it on Cultural Barriers and commonly associated ideas around transport.

A group of students at the North West Net Zero Youth Conference walk outside.

Find out more

Interested in attending the next one? Keep an eye on Youth Focus North West to find out about when the next conference will be taking place.

Interested in learning more about what Greater Manchester is doing to tackle climate change? Check out GM Green City.

Want to take action? Look at opportunities on Groundwork.

Want to understand your carbon footprint? Use this calculator.


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