YORK schoolchildren gathered in front of York Minster to tell world leaders 'the eyes of the world are watching' ahead of the UN's vital COP26 climate change conference that starts in Glasgow at the end of this month.

Pupils from All Saints Roman Catholic School are calling on world leaders to take urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.

In a stunt outside York Minster on Thursday, sixty pupils from the school brandished a 'The Eyes of the World are watching' banner.

One pupil said: “As young people, it’s really important that we get to share our thoughts and opinions on what is happening in the world.

"We’re not adults yet, so we don’t always get the chance to have our voices heard on matters like climate change - so it’s great that our school ...have given us this opportunity.”

Another pupil penned her own poem, ‘Turtle’, told through the eyes of a turtle navigating life in a sea filled with plastic waste.

“I wrote this poem because I want to point out that plastic waste is one of the major climate issues that we need to put a stop to," she said.

“We might throw away an old plastic bag because we don't need it anymore and just think, ‘oh that doesn't matter, because my plastic bag won't make a difference’ but it really will. We don’t consider what may happen to it.

“The Eyes of the World campaign is really important because it’s about our future. We can see what’s happening, we’re not oblivious to it - we can see that the world is being destroyed.”

The ‘Eyes of the World’ banner, made by Catholic international development charity CAFOD, first made an appearance on the opening day of the G7 summit in Cornwall in June.

Accompanied by a massive art installation, created by pupils from St Mary’s primary school in Falmouth, over 14,000 young people have now joined the CAFOD campaign, which urges world leaders to take action on issues like the climate crisis.

Over the next four weeks, the banner will travel to Gateshead and Edinburgh - reaching its final destination in Glasgow at ‘COP26’ in November.  

Liam Page, Chaplaincy Coordinator at All Saints, said: “The students have taken part in the Eyes of the World campaign to put some positive pressure on world and UK leaders meeting at COP26  - and show their concern for our climate and the future of our world.

“The students have been the drivers of this campaign, and have been really passionate about making a positive change in the world for other people and themselves.”