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Current generation looks to make it better for tomorrow’s

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THE first Future Generations: Environment and Sustainability conference took place at St James on Saturday afternoon.

The States’ renewable energy officer, Peter Barnes, speaking at Future Generations. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 20962875)

Future Generations is a movement established by young people aimed at promoting sustainable practices that will improve the wellbeing of current and future generations.

It featured talks from experts, live jazz and informal conversation between attendees.

Environment & Infrastructure member Lindsay de Sausmarez said that while she could take no credit for organising the event, she helped plant the seed that made it happen after hearing Pieter Durman, 17, speak of his interest in environmental issues at a Youth Forum.

‘A lot of the problems we are dealing with now are the legacies of decisions, made or not, when I was his age some 20 years ago,’ she said.

‘We spoke of how decisions made now would impact most on his generation who would need to find the solution to any problems, and I thought that his age group were the best to get that message over.’

Event co-organiser, Cameron Ashplant, 18, set the tone for the conference with a talk on ‘doughnut economics.’

This involved a new economic concept which could be applied to sustainable practices.

‘It was based on a book I read in the summer about how we can connect the economy with the environment, politics and society,’ he said.

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He said it had been hard to predict the turnout on Saturday, with free entry and no tickets, but he thought it had been good and with a wide demographic.

‘Experts have been sharing their knowledge with other people during the break which was something we have been trying to encourage.’

Other speakers included Jock Pettitt on the importance of soil health, Steve Langlois on sustainable drainage systems and Peter Barnes on renewable energy.

There were also talks from biodiversity education officer Julia Henney and Green Acorn Energy Solutions managing director Keith Hounsell.

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A ‘green finance’ panel consisted of GFSC graduate analysis Clara Coleman, International Stock Exchange Group head of communications Mark Oliphant, Innovest Advisory project manager Sanne Shouwenburg, Deputy de Sausmarez, and Carey Olsen partner Annette Alexander.

Mr Durman said there had been a lot of positive comments and people seemed to be engaging with the issues. Organising the event had been a huge collaborative effort.

‘When I first spoke with Lindsay [de Sausmarez] at a refresher event for the Children and Young People’s Plan last spring she said she felt that some politicians were not engaging with these types of issues as they should,’ he said.

Several States members were in attendance at Saturday’s event which lasted from 1 to 4pm.

Mr Durman had spoken previously of how there was a need to make massive changes to the economy to hit the climate target of a two degree drop.

There were interesting developments in terms of sustainable investments and things the financial sector could do.

Nigel Baudains

By Nigel Baudains

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