11-year-old boy heads towards Milton Keynes on 200 mile walk for climate change

The youngster is campaigning for a carbon tax to be implemented

By Sally Murrer
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:55 pm

An 11-year-old boy is walking 200 miles across the country to raise awareness about the need to implement a carbon tax - even though his parents tried to put him off the idea.

Determined Jude Walker set out on July 26 to walk from his home in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, to Westminster in London.

He is due to reach Milton Keynes next Monday and city MP Ben Everitt has already pledged to accompany him on that part of the walk.

Jude is walking 200 miles across the country

Jude’s mums Tamsin and Sarah said: “We have tried to put Jude off this idea, but he is adamant that he wants to do something to raise awareness about introducing a meaningful carbon tax. We suggested waiting until he was a bit older, but he said the climate emergency wasn’t waiting. Also, as COP 26 was happening in the UK this autumn, this summer would be the perfect time. We couldn’t really disagree with his reasoning and have chosen to support his walk."

They added: “We are very proud of him and the many other young people across the UK, and the world, who are desperately trying to make us adults stand up and take responsibility for the Climate Emergency. While making personal changes to diet, lifestyle, etc, are all helpful, to reach carbon neutrality within a timeframe that will actually make a difference we need systemic change; we need governments to act, and a meaningful carbon tax will really help this.”

Jude has spent weeks undergoing ten-mile training walks and sending letters to dozens of MPs whose constituencies he plans to walk through on the ambitious challenge.

He said: “Part of my aim is to raise awareness for the Zero Carbon Campaign’s carbon tax petition. I kept reading IPCC reports, got increasingly concerned about climate change and thought about what I could do to make a difference.

A lunch stop along the way

"One day I read ‘This Is Not A Drill’, and in it they said that it doesn’t matter what people do in the provinces, only in the capital city, where all the big businesses are based. And so, the idea struck me, what if rather than doing something in London I could walk to London.”

Jude is urging people to sign a petition launched by the Zero Carbon Campaign to press for the carbon tax to be introduced,

The tax would charge companies based on the amount of CO2 or other greenhouse gases emitted – with more charged for the more they emit. It could help make it profitable for companies to switch to green or renewable alternatives. It could also provide the government with funding to put towards climate change mitigation measures - for example, tree planting and carbon capture technologies - as well as cushioning households from the costs of the transition to net zero.

Hannah Dillon, Head of the Zero Carbon Campaign, said: "We are truly blown away by Jude's support of our campaign, and his resolve and determination to hold political leaders to account with regards to their climate commitments. At 11 years old, he understands better than most adults the severity of the climate and ecological emergency, and the imperative need to implement effective, economy-wide solutions to address it. It is outrageous that we continue to enable and actively subside the dumping of toxic greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere. As Jude has shown, the time has come to make polluters pay."

Jude Walker

You can keep up to date with Jude’s journey via his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

ney via his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels