Welcome to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)'s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP)'s blog. The DECC YAP is a group of young people aged between 15 and 25 from all over the UK, with a wide-range of backgrounds, from academia to activism.

Our aim is to inform everyone and anyone about DECC's activities and likewise to help DECC understand and take into account the concerns of young people. We are a medium of consultancy and conversation. Much of our work looks at finding a 'Pathway to 2050', reviewing how energy with be supplied and used in the next four decades, so follow us and join us on the journey!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Established est. 1130am

Hello and welcome, one and all to our very first blog!
Its our very first as, today, we were told that we could drop the word pilot and just be DECC's Youth Advisory Panel! So first off, happy birthday and congratulations to us! As well as a big thank you to DECC!

Before I get any further I suppose I should introduce myself, I'm Rose and I am one of the panel members that has been involved from a time when a youth consultancy in DECC was just a gleam in one's eye, but not even 6 months later here we are, and i have to admit, its a very impressive day to have been part of.

I cannot tell you how many hours in offices or online have been spent discussing, finalising, drafting..planning, but we are here now, which is all that really matters! Aside from me, there are roughly 15 or so of us around the table, representing all sorts from all over, and we hope to be about 25 by the end of the month..Today we kicked off with a short discussion of how the panel would look for the next few months and also the description of a 'youth liaison officer' with regards to what that actually means!

We discovered that the Panel would be effectively a group of young people representing ourselves as young people, a member of the local community and a member of our respective organisation and then consulting with DECC as well a DECC consulting with us. We also managed to establish what a 'youth liaison officer' actually was, which turns out to be our fantastic facilitator Kirsty, who does a wonderful job at organising us as well as organising DECC as far as coming together at the same time and in the same room is concerned, no mean task most of us can tell you!

Now as this beautifully formed and united group of young people representing ourselves et. al we took a bit of time to actually consult on 'the calculator' which was a seriously neat bit of kit [we devised, after a bit of oohing and ahhing which will allow the user to create 'a path to 2050' with there own preferences to whether it is better to ban light bulbs or to make light bulbs as energy efficient as is humanly possible. The path to 2050, as you may like to know is our current focus, meaning that for the foreseeable future [until December] our work will be around this route, what i means to you, us and everyone else, and making sure DECC knows what you think it looks like..

[The road to 2050, by the way, is the idea of how we will all reach the 80% reduction of emissions by...[you got it..]..2050.., more info can be found here]

Our next session focused around our guiding principles as a group and what this would mean for anything we did, in particular 'the report' spelled as such as I am not yet sure what else to call it, 'the report' is as the name suggests, a report on the path to 2050, a document we'll create to present to DECC to show-case your views, however we'll also be doing it in a less papery, readingy type way because, if we're honest, no-one needs another document to read.., 'the report' despite the fact I don't have a name for it was the focus for the rest of our day, which delightfully was spent out side sat on the grass in amongst a park, rattled every few moments by London's building work - a much more glorious a place to talk about saving the planet than an office, no matter how many stereotypes it fills.. even if i do say so myself -[anyway]. It is proposed that we, over the coming months, will under take a series of tasks, much like the 12 labours of Hercules, but far more enjoyable; in groups of three or so, we will visit coal and nuclear power stations, wind farms and cow farms, the good, the bad and the ugly as well as the just plain crazy, with open arms and informed minds...we will visit, learn and share, also talking to the local communities around each site we visit to form a justified, reliable and honest opinion of whichever site we see.

Our second task is that of consulting as many young people as is physically possible, a task seeing us to freshers fares and school assemblies as well as CAT meetings and residentials a like, gathering opinions, sharing knowledge and accumulating the various visions of our road to 2050. By the end of our pilgrimage we hope to have contacted with thousands, if not, dare i say it, millions of young people, as well as local communities [both here and abroad] so that we, as a collective can form a report which can be released informing one and all of our..and your, work with the hope that we have influenced thousands into action, in the war on energy but have also given clear direction and advice on what we, the people [yes I'll paint a red hand on my face soon] want the government to do, i may note now we are also hoping for a formal reply from DECC...however before i go right off into a dream world, I'll talk about how we finished our day and what we want you to do!

We finished our day, surprisingly enough, by doing a similar thing to what I'm doing now, as we we're joined by Charles Hendry who is Minister of State for Energy which was a wonderful session to finish with as he seemed to be brimming with confidence in us as well as an unbeatable enthusiasm, which, as you can imagine, left us on a high!

After a bit of tea, coffee and water melon, we decided the date for our next meeting, which shall be at the end of July, so until then we will be toiling away online, perhaps we will even see you inbetween! But if not, look out for our next blog and have a fantabulous morning, and please, any comments thoughts suggestions or pictures you would like to pass onto us, we will accept them any time, just post them here!

Much green and eco love..

Rose x

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