Keira Munnelly, 10, lives in London with her mum and dad and 8 year-old sibling Jake. She is part of the generation of children that will inherit a climate-changed planet. Many of the commitments made by governments at the Cop26 in Glasgow refer to 2050 as the deadline for achieving their carbon neutrality goals. By then, Keira will have just turned 40. In a letter she is writing to her future self, she expresses what that means to her, and how she sees the future of our planet, in her own words.

The planet we’re leaving to our children, in the eyes of a ten year old.

To 40 year old me,

I am writing this letter in the December of 2021. I am 10 years old and live in the UK. I wonder if that’s changed by 2051?

I have some questions and hopes about our environment for the future.

Firstly, I wonder if all cars are electric by 2051, because now, lots of electric cars are very expensive, and I think (and hope!) that all or most cars will be electric and cheaper, since there is a lot of pollution at the moment from the fumes that are expelled into our environment.

Next, I wonder what the ocean situation is? At the moment, there is so much plastic in the ocean that lots of sea animals are dying from eating the wrong thing or from getting all caught up in a piece of plastic. At the moment, people are trying to save our sea animals and not do as much fishing.

My third paragraph is about deforestation. People are cutting down the rain forest to put farms on and that releases carbon dioxide. However, many people are trying their hardest to plant new trees and set up a more positive environment.

Leading on from this, what is your current opinion on zoos? I know it sounds unusual to add this into this letter, so let me explain. Some animals could be majorly endangered, from losing their homes or even being poached, and some of the only animals in these species could be in zoos. I can’t tell if this is good or not, because they could have been held captive for their whole life, and might not be able to survive in the wild. On the other hand, they could go back into the wild, reproduce and possibly keep this species alive.

Similarly to the car subject, something better for our environment is solar panels. They are also VERY expensive, but they are much better than wasting electricity that is valuable.

To conclude, I hope the next generation, and the next, and the next, have a future to look forward to that is sustainable and healthy.

From Keira Munnelly