CLIMATE change protesters as young as seven have been invited to have their say at the Scottish Parliament.

A group of 13 young campaigners from across Scotland, aged seven to 17, will meet leading global scientists on climate change as well as MSPs who sit on Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

The informal meeting on Tuesday will take place hours before new climate change legislation for Scotland faces its first hurdle in the Parliamentary chamber.

Pupils across Scotland have walked out of school on Fridays recently to join an international youth protest movement calling for greater action on climate change.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, committee convener Gillian Martin said: “We are looking forward to meeting these young people to find out more about what inspired them to take part in this global movement and what they are doing to ensure that their voices are heard loud and clear.

“By having the opportunity to meet the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the Parliament, the young people will meet with those whose job it is to advise governments across the world on ways to mitigate climate change.

“There is no second chance with climate change, so it is vital we listen to all ideas for change and act on these in order to make a real difference.”

One of the young people involved, Josie, 14, said: “I am really looking forward to meeting the committee members as it is a way for me to say that I exist and that I have an opinion.

“Most people aren’t listening to what my friends and I have to say, so it is good to be able to get a chance to say what my friends and I have been trying to get across.”

A major IPCC report last year warned unprecedented action is needed to avoid severe climate impacts by limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C (2.7F) above pre-industrial levels.

Actions required include cutting global carbon dioxide emissions by almost half within 12 years, and to zero by mid-century.

The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill would update current climate change laws to increase the target for greenhouse gas reductions to 90% by 2050. It would also bring in tougher interim targets of 56% for 2020 and 66% for 2030.

In a report on the planned legislation, the committee called for greater urgency on climate change, acceleration of short-term targets and setting out what temperature they seek to achieve – suggesting this should be within the 1.5C limit.

Critics argue the legislation does not go far enough, with some calling for Scotland to become carbon neutral by 2025, and protests planned outside Parliament for Tuesday.

Nicola Sturgeon has praised the “passion” of young people involved in the climate change protests and met some of those involved earlier this week to hear their concerns.

In a Green debate on climate change on Wednesday, MSPs failed to back any of the motions or amendments put forward, including the Green motion calling for a “climate emergency” to be declared.