Hampshire’s young people vote climate change and environment as top concern

More than 25,000 young people across Hampshire have taken part in Make Your Mark, the UK’s biggest youth consultation, to choose campaign priorities for young politicians to focus on in the coming two years

May 22 2024

Make Your Mark participants, aged between 11 and 18, were asked what issue affects them most from a shortlist of 10 issues. Young people of Hampshire voted Climate Change and the Environment as their top issue for 2024, as it has been in the Hampshire ballot since 2019.   

The issue of health and wellbeing was voted a close second in Hampshire while it was the most important topic for young people across the UK. The consultation also showed crime and safety as a major concern for young people both in Hampshire and across the whole country. 

Councillor Steve Forster, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, welcomed the renewed mandate for Hampshire’s Youth Parliament to campaign on these issues. He said:   

“I am particularly pleased that our young people and their representatives on the Youth Parliament have yet again placed climate change at the heart of their campaigning, because it is the single most important issue facing us over the coming years, as reflected in the County Council’s Climate Change Strategy

“Our Youth Parliamentarians already play a key role in our Climate Change Expert Stakeholder Forum, which works with us to ensure our commitments and targets are delivered. Their own campaign against plastic waste has received national attention and they lead the way in engaging school pupils on the issue as one of the partners behind the annual Hampshire Climate Conference for schools. I look forward to supporting them over the next two years to develop their campaigning further.”  

Olivia, Member of Youth Parliament for North East Hampshire, said: “The results of Make Your Mark have made the worries and concerns of our youth undoubtedly clear. It is important for the youth to be heard, but so much more important now moving forward to act accordingly to remedy their worries for the future and present.” 

Over half a million young people took part in the consultation nationally with Hampshire receiving the second most votes. 

Hampshire Youth Parliament is continuing its climate campaign by running its third Hampshire Climate Conference in September in partnership with Winchester College and the Final Straw Foundation. It will bring together pupils from across Hampshire to hear from keynote speakers and learn about environmental issues in a variety of interactive climate-based workshops.