The New Lord Speaker took part in a historic first for the House of Lords chamber on Friday 9 September, as MPs sat alongside Members of the Lords on the red benches to hear Commonwealth Youth Parliamentarians debate the issues surrounding climate change and carbon emissions. The debate was shown on BBC Parliament
The event was part of celebrations marking 100 years of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). This was only the fifth time that the Lords chamber had been used for non-parliamentary business. Some 100 Commonwealth Young Parliamentarians, together with young people from Commonwealth diaspora communities in the UK, explored the impact of reducing carbon emissions on the developing economies and on climate change in a debate about the fictional country ‘Commonwealthland’.
It was the first outreach event Baroness D’Souza chaired in her new role as Lord Speaker. Speaking ahead of the event, Baroness D’Souza said: ‘I am delighted to welcome so many young people from across the Commonwealth and the UK, coming together today in the Chamber, to discuss the crucial issue of climate change, in the fifth such youth outreach event for the House of Lords. As Lord Speaker, I look forward to chairing a lively and stimulating debate.’
This fourth Commonwealth Youth Parliament took place in the centennial year of the CPA as part of the organisation’s commitment to involving the younger generation in parliament, democracy and the Commonwealth.
The House of Lords discussed the continuing role of Commonwealth in the debate a ‘Century of Excellence’ of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on Thursday 8 September marking the anniversary.
Image: Parliamentary copyright