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Students advise MPs on sustainability

Primary school pupils at the House environment committee on Wednesday

Pupils of eight Nicosia primary schools who met with the House environment committee on Wednesday presented MPs with their ideas to combat climate change and contribute to sustainability.

Among the suggestions raised were solar airplanes and solar bags, recycling and reuse programmes and the operation of a library with only reused books.

The debate took place as part of a campaign around Earth Hour, which will be commemorated this Saturday, when the public is urged to turn their lights off for an hour to raise awareness.

The session was attended by the education minister, the commissioner for the environment and representatives of the Pedagogical Institute who said they were impressed with the children’s contributions.

“You are the tomorrow of our country, our future, and we ask you to criticise and demand things, to submit your testimonies and your inquiries,” Adamos Adamou, head of the committee, said.

He added serious work is being done in schools, and in this way behaviour is changing.

Vice president of the committee Charalambos Theopemptou said it was no coincidence that this generation was called the “generation of idiots” because although the effects of humanity’s actions on the environment are known, it is still being destroyed. He said he wished the children could become the “generation of wise men”.

“The children have the right to walk safely to their schools, breathe fresh air without pollutants, be able to drink fresh water from coolers rather than plastic bottles and have their lessons away from noise,” Theopemptou said.

He also referred to the abolition of plastic bags, the benefits of composting and the need to reduce waste by reusing materials.

Earth Hour started as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007 and is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action.

Participants are asked to switch off their lights between 8.30pm and 9.30pm local time on March 24.

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