Generations Unite for Greater Manchester Green Summit 2021

Activists of all ages across Greater Manchester are uniting in the fight against climate change – breaking the myth that older generations don’t care.

The Greater Manchester Green Summit 2021 on October 18 at The Lowry in Salford will focus on the ‘environment through the ages’, discovering what climate change means for all of us – and how we can work together.

But the new ‘This Is What An Activist Looks Like’ campaign is already breaking stereotypes and has launched to show how generational conflict is false – in fact, those aged three to 83 can, and are, working together on the climate crisis and environmental issues.

These themes and events are of course timely, as just recently, a UK study found that the ‘generational divide’ over climate action is actually false.

Who Cares About Climate Change: Attitudes Across The Generations, by Professor Bobby Duffy from the Policy Institute at King’s College London and New Scientist magazine revealed that seven in 10 people from all generations surveyed said climate change, biodiversity loss and other environmental issues were big enough problems that they justified significant changes to people’s lifestyles.

There was no real difference in agreement between Baby Boomers (74%) – the oldest generation polled – and Gen Z (71%), the youngest, out of 2,050 adults

This also comes after Greta Thunberg said: “I do think older people make things more complicated than they actually are.”

But young campaigner Sam Mounfield from Trafford says: “The media often portrays young people as ecowarriors, battling against selfish older generations – but it is nonsense.

“We need to have one voice so policymakers and government officials listen. They need to pay attention to the messages of the This Is What An Activist looks like ahead of theCop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November and the media needs to stop stereotyping generations and pitting them against each other.”

Commissioned by Greater Manchester Older People’s Network (GMOPN) and run by the Talking About My Generation team, the campaign uses a new video and social media to highlight the inter-generational activists in action; from green transport and litter picking to protesting and growing your own food in communities across all boroughs.

Check out the video below

And the campaign video stars even came together at a public living library event at Manchester Central Library so they could share their stories and inspire others to make changes too.

Elaine Unegbu, Chair of Greater Manchester Older People’s Network Steering Group, said: “We wanted to share a positive message about how important it is for the generations to come together to tackle big issues like climate change.

“This is not about young versus old, it’s about all of us doing our bit, as individuals and in our communities. We can all do something and so many people are playing their part already and enjoying themselves in the process.

“Climate change is a serious business but you can still have fun and make a difference at the same time. We need to celebrate what people are already doing and inspire others to do the same. Ageism tries to divide generations – but the fight against climate change is uniting them.”

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