Science pupils will send carbon dioxide in a bottle to Tory climate tsar Alok Sharma in a bid to highlight the seriousness of climate change.
The students’ move comes as Sharma prepares to lead the Cop26 international climate summit later this month.
The Lincolnshire teenagers now hope Sharma will receive the bottle and put it on his table throughout the UN talks in Glasgow
The Stamford Welland Academy experiment used everyday objects such as drain cleaner to show how carbon dioxide can be captured from the air.
‘We know more science than adults’
Ruby, 15, told PA news agency: “Our generation is often accused of jumping on the save-the-planet bandwagon whilst not having realistic solutions to the problem.
“But we probably know more science than most of our parents.”
The students found that a solution of sodium hydroxide absorbed carbon emissions, and powered their carbon capture process using solar pumps.
Between five and 10 billion tones of carbon dioxide need to be retracted from the atmosphere on an annual basis for the next few decades.
But although the upcoming UK-led global summit offers a chance to tackle such urgent environmental needs, it is not without criticism towards Britain’s handling of the meeting.
Firms that spent millions of pounds to sponsor the Cop26 climate summit later this month labelled the event as “mismanaged” and “very last minute”.
Sponsors complain about UK’s handling of Cop26
The sponsors formally complained about UK’s “very inexperienced” civil servants for postponed decisions, bad communication and decaying relationships between the companies and the organisers.
Major sponsors include Sky, energy giants Hitachi, National Grid, Scottish Power and SSE, as well as NatWest, Reckitt, Sainsbury’s and Unilever – but the latter refused to sign a complaint letter sent by Sky on behalf of the sponsors.
The sponsors have been promised an “outstanding opportunity” and “unique benefits”, such as promoting their companies at the event and having ministers attending their events in return.
But sources told The Guardian that there has been a lack of information about how the event will run, companies discovered rivals would be attending against what they were previously told, and promises such as having ministers coming to sponsors’ events have not been kept.
“Shifting goal posts” and “inertia”among the event planners were also complained about, as well as the “top-down public sector approach” which shocked companies used to professionalism in high-profile events.
Government ‘prioritises economic benefits over climate in trade deals’
The UK government also came under fire recently for telling its trade negotiators to not let environmental concerns get in the way of post-Brexit trade deals, according to a leaked document.
In August, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in a report that humans’ harmful impact on the planet is already “locked in” for decades but the climate crisis could get much worse.
Without rapid and large-scale action to cut down emissions, global temperatures are set to increase – and pass the critical 1.5-degree Celsius threshold in the next two decades.
At the time, prime minister Boris Johnson labelled the report as “sobering reading”, and called for the world to “take action now”.
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Carney calls for ‘credible’ policies ahead of COP26