Curious about VotesforSchools? Try our lessons with a 4-week free trial. Start now


How 40,000 children made their voices heard in front of the world

Looking for school resources on the environment?

To help schools discuss climate change with their pupils, we're sharing our most recent environmental resource for free, asking: Are fashion brands choosing trends over the environment?


Please provide the following information to access the free lesson pack.

Will climate change affect children's rights?

VotesforCOP26 | VotesforSchools

In September 2021, we worked with UNICEF UK to ask young people if they thought that climate change would affect their rights. Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, we decided to ask this question internationally and received more than 46,000 responses from young people.



95% of young people are concerned about climate change VotesforCOP26 | VotesforSchools

What did they say?

3 in 4 young people (75.4%) voted that climate change would affect their rights. But that's not all that they had to say.

We compiled a full data report showing exactly how young people across the world voted, and what they wanted to see from COP26.

Read the Data Report
89% of young people think not enough is being done about climate change VotesforCOP26 | VotesforSchools

Who heard their voices?

The Data Report was shared with hundreds of partner organisations, some of whom were present at COP26. We received support from key organisations such as The Co-op, Oxfam, PiXL and The Wildlife Trusts.

81% of young people are not being listened to about climate change VotesforCOP26 | VotesforSchools

What impact did they have?

We created an impact report to showcase the voices of young people and the impact that it had, which has been read by hundreds of people.

Read the impact report

"Many children won't be able to go to school. People won't get access to the hydration they need. But we cannot ignore a very serious problem."

Voter, Aged 14

"Climate change won't just go away, and it has already affected us. If we don't do something now then climate change will get worse and worse and will affect everything."

Voter, Aged 12

"It’s children’s future so why don’t they decide what will happen to them?"


Aged 11, Bristol, UK

"We need severe, radical change and we need it now. No amount of cycling to work and short showers will ever solve the problem because you will still have 100 corporations responsible for 70% of emissions."

Voter, Aged 14

Their voices made national headlines and featured in many different news outlets, including speaking on Good Morning Britain.

Unicef VotesforCOP26 | VotesforSchools

As a result of this work, we were invited to share our results at the London Climate Summit 2021, where we outlined children's views on climate change in front of MPs & councillors from across London, making reference to young people's belief that leaders were not listening to them.

VotesforCOP26 | VotesforSchools

The results and surrounding conversation of this work was later referenced in the Government's Sustainability and climate change policy in April 2022.

Barking & Dagenham Climate Summit VotesforCOP26 | VotesforSchools

This opportunity led to us working with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to support their first ever Youth Climate Change Summit for over 300 young people.

We supported Barking & Dagenham by planning and delivering two sessions, and by collating the responses of the young people to present to the borough. Barking & Dagenham will use this information to aid their next steps.

Find out more about the Summit
Climate Protest VotesforSchools

And the impact continues...

The impact of this study hasn't stopped there. The research has continued to influence changemakers, be cited in different articles and be heard across the world, like in this article by Travel Tomorrow, looking at the climate debt our young people will inherit.

"Everyone is spending so much time thinking about what is going on and talking about it but not taking enough action. At some point between 2027 and 2045, climate change will be irreversible. Additionally, it is the younger generation who will have to clean up the older generations' messes so it should be our right to speak up for ourselves because, in the end, we will have to deal with these problems"

Voter, Aged 12

"I think it will affect children's rights because the consequences are going to happen during our time and we don't get to have a say. More and more decisions will be made for us so that climate change can stop but we don't actually get involved."

Voter, Aged 13

"World leaders need to strongly consider the effects that climate change is having and is going to have on the younger generation as it will affect them directly. We need to consider recycling more, using fewer vehicles and protecting our environment."

Voter, Aged 10

"Green spaces for children will disappear. Global warming will become worse. Pollution affects our safety and habitats of animals, ice caps are melting and land is eroded and soon, there will be nothing left and nowhere to live. We’re not ready to live on another planet."

Voter, Aged 9

"People attempting to change things because all I'm hearing is people talking about what they are going to do and not seeing that they have done it or are doing it."

Voter, Aged 13

Want to know more?

  1. We asked young people for their thoughts on fast fashion and its effect on the environment.
  2. Explore all of our most recent topics and their results.
  3. Contact us to find out more about our work around climate change, or to get involved with a topic.