'My Hope for the Future': children's climate art competition winners revealed

Updated: Sep 8

Earlier this year, Sheffield-based charity Hope for the Future ran the first ever 'My Hope for the Future' art competition, tasking young people to create a piece of art that represents the current climate emergency.


It's Freezing in LA! are proud to publish the seven finalists, along with the artist's descriptions of what they are calling on parliament to change.

Indie, age 12



Inspiration behind my artwork:

I wanted to create a sense of hope through the looming clouds of the future. The image of Mother Nature, crying black tears over her polluted planet which burns from one side, is contrasted with colours of healthy nature- blues and greens. Though the Earth is in danger, there is still time to save it, but only if we can put off the fire that’s threatening the health of the planet. 


I want my MP to take climate action because: 

I want my MP to take climate action because it has become clear to me that I have to continue to grow up in a world which is being constantly polluted by humans. Not only me but the whole of my generation and the next and the next. We are the last generation that can take steps to avoid impacts of climate change. Climate change is real, caused by humans and already damaging our planet so much that over 100,000 animals are killed every year due to pollution. I am constantly trying to help out in any way I can by recycling and saving household power. There is much more that can be done, and on a greater scale beyond what individuals can achieve from day to day. Only through real, firm action from MPs and others in power can we hope to reverse climate change. 


If I was an MP I would: 

If I was an MP I would focus more on environmental matters and suggest more eco friendly ideas in parliament. I would ban all use of plastic water bottles, cling film and any other unnecessary plastic items. Packaging in supermarkets would be biodegradable and recyclable to prevent mass plastic pollution in our ocean. I would advocate plant based diets as the meat industry contributes to deforestation and uses a lot of water and resources, whereas farming vegetables and other plants takes less resources. 


What is your biggest fear about the climate crisis? 

My biggest fear about the climate crisis is the loss of so many valuable species. Unbalancing the plant’s ecosystem is not only sad, it is also very dangerous to humans. For example, the loss of pollinators, such as bees, would be catastrophic to food production. Also, as the temperature rises, humans will struggle to survive and natural disasters will be more numerous. I do not want to worry about the sort of world I would leave to my own children. 


What gives me hope for the Future:

I have hope for the future because it seems that our generation is motivated to make changes. Activists like Greta Thunberg have helped bring the climate issue to the forefront of our generation's culture and, with the help of the adults around us, i have the confidence that my generation will grow to be the one which finally takes the health and wellbeing of the planet seriously. 




Olive, age 12 


Inspiration behind my artwork: 

I have combined several themes in my artwork: melting ice caps and polar bears, a dystopian future in the reflection in the water droplet, smog from burning fossil fuels, The image links all these things together in a surrealist style, with the drop of water falling off a shrinking iceberg. 


I want my MP to take climate action because: 

We only have one planet, and there's not much time left to save it. The issue affects all life on earth. We need to do everything we possibly can to prevent global catastrophe. The impact is becoming more obvious, there is a scientific consensus, but politicians are still failing to act. We have an opportunity to lead and influence the world. 


If I was an MP I would: 

I would make tackling climate change my main priority. I would influence other world leaders and I would get the government to work with other nations to agree and meet targets, rather than just talk about them. I would improve public transport and make it a lot cheaper. I would tax flights much more than they are now to reflect the environmental cost, try to stop importing meat where it has been produced in a un-environmental way (e.g. clearing forest). I would also promote a significant restoration programme within the uk- more forests, wetlands and wild areas, I would get the Government to invest heavily in renewable energy and other environmentally friendly technology. 


What is your biggest fear about the climate crisis? 

A dying planet that is uninhabitable and loss of biodiversity. 


What gives me hope for the Future:

The young generation of climate stickers, and all the other people determined to fight for change. 



Ellie, age 13




Inspiration behind my artwork:

I chose to draw Greta Thunberg in the center of my art piece because she inspires so many people all over the world to make a change and take climate action. In the piece, behind Greta, there is a drawing of half of the Earth on fire and half of it covered in plastic. I chose to draw half of the planet on fire to represent the recent devastating Australian bushfires that were the result of Earth high temperatures. The whole bottom of the other side is dripping to represent the melting ice caps. The reason for drawing half of the Earth covered in plastic is because of all the single-use plastic being used and waste being produced that's being thrown into the ocean ocean and affecting all the marine life inhabiting it. 


I want my MP to take climate action because:

I want my MP to take climate action because MPs are our elected representatives within our law-making institution, they are in a position of power to activate change and raise debates on the issues that we have raised with them in parliament. By stressing the importance of climate action to them, they can take it further. Because climate change is caused by human activities and is threatening the future of our planet, we are the only ones who can implement change to unde some of the damage and prevent further devastation.  


If I was an MP I would: 

If I was an MP, I would propose beet restrictions. Animal agriculture is responsible for 14-18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it also has a huge water footprint. Producing beef uses 20x the land and emits 20x the land as growing beans per gram of protein and requires more than 10x cent resources than producing chicken. Studies have shown shifting diet away from red meat could reduce greenhouse emissions worldwide. 


What is your biggest fear about the climate crisis? 

My biggest fear about the climate crisis is that young people have no future on a broken, unfixable planet. 


What gives me hope for the Future:

People who are recognizing the climate crisis as a serious thing and making a difference give me hope for the future (people like climate activists).




Toby, age 13 




Inspiration behind my artwork: 

I developed my idea from the flooding as that is a problem that is strongly affecting my close family. The artwork depicts Big Ben in London almost lost in flood water and the clock face is replaced with the Doomsday Clock with the hands showing two and a half minutes to midnight, the current time shown on the actual Doomsday Clock. There is swirling in the sky to show the heat as well as a nod towards the bushfires in Australia, I like the stark contrast that this shows between the fire and the water. There are also some recognisable buildings on the horizon such as Gherkin, Tower Bridge and the SHard, slowly being taken by the flood. 


I want my MP to take climate action because: 

Most people in power are mainly concerned with making money. This means that the climate crisis is being overlooked and the steps towards resolving it have not been taken. We need our government to stop and think about what matters because, when it comes down to it, it is our future that this problem will affect, and we need it to be taken seriously. 


If I was an MP I would: 

I would try my best to promote climate activism and try to improve public transport along major and minor commuting routes. I would support the building and improving of cycle paths and bridleways, so that people can get to work without creating any pollution. I would also support tree planting in urban areas and rural communities. Trees slow down the flow of water, reducing flooding. They take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and are carbon neutral when used as fuel. Woodland also supports more wildlife than any other form of land use. 


My biggest fear about the climate crisis: 

My biggest fear about the climate crisis is the effect that it is having on the natural environment and wildlife, for example, the devastating flooding that the UK is experiencing and the rising sea level due to the melting of the ice caps. Also, as of 11 Jan 2020, roughly 480million animals have died from the australian bushfires. The scale  of this is unimaginable and strikes fear in many people, and rightfully so. We must put an end to this. 


What gives me hope for the Future: 

I find hope in climate activism, such as Greenpeace and Climate Strikers, and competitions such as this one, that give young people a chance to speak out about what they believe in and make a difference.



Katelyn, age 13



Inspiration behind my artwork:

The inspiration behind my artwork is that I enjoy baking things, I have also decided that it is time to have a healthy world again as it has all gone too far. My recipe is made up of some of the things we need to make the world a better place, than all the fossil fuels that are causing climate change. These ingredients are things that we need in the world instead of all the plastic and hardly any trees, as they are all being chopped down. The background shows a wooden table which is made from branches that have already fallen off, so we aren't cutting any more trees. We need the trees as they give clean air (oxygen). I have put renewable energy on the ingredients lists as they use sun and natural energy, which is far better than the fuels we use for electricity. I also put reusing plastic on the list as we use too much plastic, for example, we could use plastic bottles for a drink and then use them as plant pots, as shown in my drawing. I did add flowers as they attract bees and lots of other insects. This can help as our food and plants are pollinated, if we didn't have insects' plants wouldn't grow. These ingredients are important and the start of a much better world. 


I want my MP to take climate action because: 

I want my MP to take climate actions more seriously as if they don't there may not be any more world left because there have been more fires, more floods and more tragic events around the world each day. 


If I was an MP I would: 

If I was an MP, I would make sure we grew plenty of trees and stop huge plastic sales in the shops. Another thing that I would do is make public transport more available because cars are a major reason for global warming as they create many of the greenhouse gasses. 


What is your biggest fear about the climate crisis? 

My biggest fear is that if we don't act now the world will just keep getting in deeper and deeper in climate change. I fear that animals will be extinct. I fear that more lives will be taken at the expense of climate change. I fear the world out future generations must grow up in will be destroyed by our selfishness. 


What gives me hope for the Future:

People growing trees gives me hope, as every second two trees are cut down and they don't come in an infinite amount. Another hope is that in supermarkets using bags for life is encouraged and being charged for plastic bags is making a difference. 





Poppy, age 14



Inspiration behind my artwork: 

The inspiration behind my artwork is how if there are no changes made the damage to the planet will be irreversible so i drew the earth in a time glass to picture that because when the time runs out it will look more like the bottom picture. 


I want my MP to take climate action because: 

I want my MP to take action because climate change affects everything; it can cause respiratory diseases in children like asthma, causes rising sea levels and it affects wildlife too because their habitat is  rapidly changing. 


If I was an MP I would: 

If I was an MP I would try to make the country greener and more eco friendly, like the scheme of people returning used bottles to be recycled, or using paper bags. I also think it will help to encourage children to walk or cycle or catch the bus to school as it will mean less pollution around schools where it can be harmful to children in the school. 


My biggest fear about the climate crisis: 

My biggest fear about the climate crisis is how it will affect future generations dn children's health, as well as animals going extinct even though we can stop this happening. 


What gives me hope for the Future

I have hope because the climate strikes as well as things like my family and school are doing things to try and help because each little thing will help many people do it. 


Katy, age 17



Inspiration behind my artwork: 

The inspiration for my piece is from the fact that 11% of 800 million people is vulnerable to the impacts caused by climate change like droughts, floods, heat waves or extreme weather conditions. Sea levels are rising which may affect the extinction of many cities for example, Venice in Italy, Thailand and Houston in Texas with a rate of 2 inches per year. My work shows people burning the planet causing the world to melt ice caps which leads to rising sea levels. Not only are we burning and harming the world we are also causing ourselves damage. The hands in the sea catching the melted Earth shows people trying to catch and prevent the damage yet still drowning because there isn’t enough climate action to cancel out the damages we have already caused. The green hand stopping the flamed hand is there to show the people taking climate action and fighting to prevent it even if it has a little effect. The green hands represent growing trees or plants or use more electric efficient products or maybe recycling which is something we can all do.


I want my MP to take climate action because: 

I want my MP to act because I want less people in this world to lose their homes and people they care about. I think my MP can make a difference from raising awareness and making an area to plant more trees and continue to put climate change as a priority. Around 11% of emissions of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by humans by deforestation. We can change this and reduce this number if we can eat less beef and use less paper.


If I was an MP I would: 

If I was an MP I would make people discuss or debate the many different opportunities for people to contribute to solving climate change and how this will benefit and create a healthier and cleaner environment. I would also make climate change an urgent action that needs to change, just having policies in place is not enough, and the government needs a clear plan in helping the climate.  408 parts per million is the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere (2018) which was the highest in 3 million years and is still increasing. If we used plans to improve efficiency on everyday products we could scrap the products that cause the most harm to the environment. 


What is your biggest fear about the climate crisis? 

My biggest fear about the climate crisis is losing everything, people and places that I have memories of and from.


What gives me hope for the Future:

My hope for the future is from the people I know or have seen around and I want them to have a place to call home.



In recent months, it has been young people who have been at the forefront of the climate movement, demanding urgent and decisive action from their politicians. Given the unbelievable events of this year, it has never been more important to elevate the voices of these young people as we look towards our recovery from covid. This year's 'My Hope for the Future' is calling upon young people aged 12-24 to imagine what the future could look like in 10+ years' time if meaningful action was taken on climate change today.  

The shortlisted entrants will be invited to display their work at an exhibition in Parliament on Monday 26th April 2021, attended by politicians, artists and representatives from organisations working hard to keep climate change on the national agenda and be in with the chance of winning a cash prize. Your visions for the future can be submitted any medium - from audio-visual, written, spoken word, photography, graphic design, drawing, ceramics and textiles - and we want to see as many as possible from all over the UK! 

Competition opens: 1st October 2020
Submissions close: 26th February 2021
For more information please visit: www.hftf.org.uk





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