SWINDON organisations have called for real change and progress to be made at international climate change summit taking place in Paris this week.

The Wiltshire and Swindon Climate Action Network (WiltSCAN) presented a declaration on behalf of the county to South Swindon MP Robert Buckland on Friday.

The declaration, signed by more than 30 groups, outlines the county’s support for the UK’s target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent before 2050 and calls for progress at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in the French capital.

The MP agreed to accept the declaration and serve it on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) ahead of the Paris summit.

“I was delighted to accept the declaration and see how many organisations around our area have signed it and backed calls for change,” he said.

“They want to get the message across and we need to make real progress.”

Youth was also well represented at the climate change breakfast event hosted by Nationwide, with two primary schools from outside Swindon singing and a teenager from St Joseph’s Catholic College delivering a speech.

“It was lovely to hear the voices of young people at the event on Friday. There were two primary schools who sang, but there was also a young lady who spoke very powerfully,” said Mr Buckland.

“She told us what her generation is concerned about.

“And it’s important to remember this is an inter-generational issue. Hers was a powerful message, powerfully delivered.”

“She did an excellent speech, just saying how she became interested in climate change,” said Jane Laurie, chairman of WiltSCAN.

“It’s the younger generation paying the price if people don’t take action.”

Among those firms to have backed the declaration include Brunel Shopping Centre, Church of England Bristol Diocese, Nationwide, Thames Water, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Zurich.

There were talks by representatives from both Swindon Borough Council and Nationwide on what the respective groups are doing to cut their own emissions.

After the declaration was handed over there was time for networking among the various firms and Jane was happy to see this as one of the biggest advantages of the day.

“Somebody said to me, there’s all sorts of people working away on their own in their organisations,” she said.

“This kind of event helps to bring those people together and have them moving forward with ideas of collaboration, rather than going their own ways.”

The Paris conference will attempt to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all nations of the world.