Holly Pavey, a pupil at QEGS, in Horncastle, has been holding monthly protests to urge the government to act now - before it is too late.
Speaking after the meeting, Holly said: “I would like to thank Victoria Atkins for agreeing to attend the climate change meeting and QEGS for hosting this event.
“The large number of young people at the meeting asked some amazing questions that put Victoria Atkins on the spot. She did answer our questions, but not to our satisfaction.
“She focused on what past governments had done, but not what needs to be done urgently from now on.
“The government does not seem to be listening to the scientists who tell us that we are facing a potential catastrophe with shortages of food, water and power, and mass migration from within these shores, all in my lifetime.
“The reason for the meeting was that a few months ago parliament declared a climate emergency and I believed that our government would react immediately to this, but nothing seems to have happened since, except that Theresa May said that we will aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.
“A 2050 date does not suggest an emergency.
“As the sixteen-year-old girl who started the school strikes for the climate, Greta Thunberg, said - ‘it seems to be business as usual’.
“Ms Atkins did agree to meet the parents and grandparents of the young people sometime in the future in a similar meeting, also to discuss the climate crisis.”
Addressing a room full of young people, Ms Atkins set out the Government’s position on climate change, highlighting that it remains an absolute priority to drastically reduce our national carbon footprint and leave the planet in a better state for future generations.
In the week leading up to the meeting, the Government announced that the UK would become the first major economy in the world to commit to net 0 emissions by 2050, and this commitment has since become law.
Ms Atkins said: “It was a pleasure to meet a group of students so engaged with a serious, complex issue, and I am pleased they were able to join me for a spirited and lively debate about climate change.
“I share their concerns and welcomed the opportunity to assure them that the Government rightly recognises climate change as one of the defining issues of the day.
“I hope I reassured the students that it is an absolute priority of the Government to leave our planet in a better state than we found it.”