Ellie Goulding feels ''really guilty'' when she doesn't champion social issues in her music.

The 'Burn' hitmaker says she is ''acutely aware of the power of songs to communicate messages'' and wants to make sure she uses her tunes to speak about important issues including climate change or homelessness, for example.

She said: ''I am acutely aware of the power of songs to communicate messages. And it is important to remember when we communicate our message about the Earth that it is just as important to connect with people on a human level as it is to communicate the facts ... They give us an emotional workout. This type of connection is the point, the power of music. When I am not doing something which directly addresses the climate emergency or homelessness I feel really guilty.''

And the 32-year-old singer has praised the work of young people in raising social issues to the wider community, and branded them an ''unstoppable force of change''.

Speaking at the One Young World international environment summit, she added: ''Over the last 12 months the clear-eyed focus of young people has created an unstoppable force of change. When I first met [climate change activist] Greta Thunberg at Davos last year, the school climate strikes were a relatively recent phenomenon. Climate crisis is the era that we inhabit. It forms the backdrop to our lives, a constant soundtrack which will only get louder.''

Ellie was recently bestowed the honorary Doctor Of Arts degree at the University of Kent, where she apologised to her old tutor for dropping out of her drama degree in 2008.

Speaking to students, she said: ''Coming back today does complete that circle for me 11 years later, after I packed up my cold little garage room ... It feels really good. I'm sorry for that email ... It must have been quite out of the blue. I emailed her to tell her how impressed I was, to wish her luck and say she was welcome to come back and finish her degree if things don't work out.''