Connect with Marcus
Marcus Woodward is Evidence and Risk team leader for the North East and Yorkshire at Environment Agency.
In the run up to the globe's most important meeting on climate
change, the #CIWEMtalksCOP26 series asks thought leaders from the water
and environmental industry and beyond to answer a common question: what
do you most want COP26 to deliver?
Here we'll be serialising their answers.
Marcus Woodward is Evidence and Risk team leader for the North East and Yorkshire at Environment Agency and a member of CIWEM's early-careers network steering group.
"If you had your moment on the stage at COP26 what would you say to world leaders? I came at this with a view that as an early career professional at the Environment Agency, and as a team leader, I am in a good position to put forward change in my own career and influence the direction of my team and wider department.
"I also have a very young family and I look at the need to address climate change as something I need to do not only for my own generation, but for that of my daughter. I do not want her to be in any danger brought on by climate change, or miss out on seeing the incredible animals we have in the world, that will be lost to climate change.
"I would say that as a priority the COP26 should help educate us as young career professionals to be able to push sustainable adaptive development, create flood resilience and new ways of design, all with climate change in mind. But not only that – we need to get into schools and educate true early career professionals, the children of the world, in climate change, its causes, impacts and encourage them to develop ideas to tackle climate change and adapt to it in the future.
"This will build focus on the issues to develop solutions as the world around them changes. We need to show them how we are adapting and working hard to make changes, so that they continue the process, so climate resilient methods will become the norm for our youngsters.
"Climate change needs to become a staple part of mainstream education and enter into school syllabuses, taught to all children. As early career professionals we are the immediate future for tackling climate change, but our children are the next generation that will continue our legacy and hopefully live in harmony with our climate and our nature.
"I think we are doing brilliant work looking at the now, but I think there needs to be some priority given to educating those who will become professionals in the near future, and beyond.
"Children are our future and our hope – it is our responsibility to protect their environment and to give them empowerment, skills and knowledge to develop a climate change resilient world. This should be a huge priority for the management of climate change in the future."
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