– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th April 2022.
To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s response is to the Climate Changemakers impact report from the Scottish Children’s Parliament. (S6F-01042)
I welcome the impact report. A fundamental part of Scotland’s Climate Assembly process was the involvement of children. I am pleased that the impact report recognises the Government’s work to ensure that children’s voices are heard. We are committed to upholding children’s rights, as is demonstrated, of course, by our approach to the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. That inclusion of children reflects our commitment to empower children and to respect, protect and fulfil their rights.
In the impact report, children ask us to do more, and that is what we intend to do. At the 26th United Nations climate change conference of the parties—COP26—I committed to on-going and meaningful engagement between the Scottish Government and children and young people, and I remain committed to that.
I am grateful for the children’s hard work and for their creativity and commitment.
I thank the First Minister for her answer and extend a warm welcome to all the young people in the gallery today.
More broadly, what role does the First Minister see organisations such as the Children’s Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament playing in shaping future policy, particularly in areas such as addressing the climate emergency, in relation to which we see, time and again, the value of bringing younger generations into the conversation?
The Scottish Youth Parliament and the Children’s Parliament do a fantastic job and have a key role to play. I hope that our annual Cabinet meeting with children and young people demonstrates the on-going commitment of the Government at the highest level to meaningfully engage with them on the issues that matter most to them.
Scottish Government core funding of more than £580,000 this financial year for the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Children’s Parliament will continue to support children and young people to participate in climate decision making.
The Scottish Youth Parliament’s work at COP26 was very successful. It included partnership working with the Scottish Parliament and the Children’s Parliament on the Moment. The work of young people as Scottish delegates to the conference of youth led to the public commitment that I gave to work with children and young people to tackle climate change going forward, and I want to reiterate that strong commitment today.