It was a happy scene but what does the future hold for those children if we continue moving toward environmental Armageddon.
The world has been slow to recognise the damage being done to the environment, which has caused the extinction of hundreds of species and the advance of climate change.
The future for those children and indeed for all of us is not a pleasant one if we continue on the present route. Great swathes of the inhabited land mass will disappear under water, food and water shortages will abound and war become more prevalent. There will be a real danger of a turn to the law of the jungle, the survival of the fittest.
Political decision makers took a long time to act on the environmental threats. The mass of scientists have been warning of the consequences of not addressing the dangers but too many found it easier to be wooed by climate change deniers - often funded by those in the fossil fuel industries, who stood to lose most from a low emissions policy.
The warnings were clear. In 2006, Sir George Stern published his authoritative report for the British Government warning of the dangers and the cost there would be if radical action was not taken. Just in financial terms we now see the wisdom of that warning, with food prices set to leap on the back of the severe hot weather in this country over the past few months.
World leaders appeared to recognise the enormity of the challenge at the UN Paris Agreement of 2015. Countries committed to reduce emissions, keeping warming below 2 degrees since pre-industrialisation times. Yet today scientists warn the world is heading toward 4 degrees over the next 30 years.
The environment is simply not taken seriously enough. Climate change and other destructive processes are the major threat to our future on the planet, yet still these concerns are put on the back burner, indulged in the economic good times and jettisoned at times of hardship.
There needs to be serious action taken, a change in our whole mind set and way of life.
A possible return to a more village like lifestyle. An existence where we grow more of our own food and what we can’t grow is sourced locally.
There need to be less carbon emitting devices, like cars and planes. Old polluting cars need to be taken off the roads – they are killing our children.
The Mayor of London has set out a target for 80% of journeys to be by foot, cycle of public transport by 2041.
Buildings should not be being constructed now that do not have zero carbon emissions. Beyond this, older properties need to be refitted with the technology to make them carbon neutral.
We need to start putting back some of the trees and plants that have been removed. It was encouraging to see that 15,000 trees are going to be planted in Hainault under the Mayor’s scheme but this work needs to be spread and accelerated.
There is much that can be done, these are just a few ideas. What is for sure is that the crisis is mounting. The world is way past the point where doing a bit is enough. Everyone has to take responsibility for themselves and the community beyond, if all are to enjoy a safe and sustainable future.