Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind today!
Not tackling manmade climate change, failing to check the rise of global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, will have catastrophic consequences. More frequent and extreme weather events – floods in the Indian desert, droughts in east India (an area known for heavy precipitation) and more intense storms as experienced in the west of the UK are increasingly becoming commonplace. We need to act now in order to limit and mitigate these impacts.
We only have us to blame
An entire generation has adopted a lifestyle that is unsustainable. Many feel that greener/sustainable alternatives are neither easily available nor affordable. A survey in 2014 shows that 97% of Indian youth are really concerned about climate change but the majority of them are not aware of the solutions and/or its direct impacts on them. Surveys in the UK show similar results.
However, research across the globe demonstrates that it is possible to lead a lifestyle that is both sustainable and affordable. Climate action does not limit growth – in fact it can accelerate growth by stimulating new sustainable solutions through innovation.
We need to urgently identify solutions to climate problems!
Across India and the UK, communities are already learning and adopting new practices that help them adapt to and reduce the effects of climate change. Often these solutions do not get highlighted enough to inspire others. The younger generation has often proven to be particularly good at generating solutions to current and future climate problems – problems that they will have to live with. There is a need to support the innovators of the future in developing their ideas and to present them to the right constituency- policy makers, businesses and programmes that are best placed to take these innovations forward and make them a reality.
Supporting sustainable solutions: from ideas to implementation
For this purpose the India Youth Climate Network (IYCN), the UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) and the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) have come together to work on the Sustainable Solutions Challenge. The British High Commission, New Delhi supports us in this endeavour.
Our goal is to identify the most innovative and climate smart solutions generated by the youth in India and the UK and communicate and celebrate them with a global audience. We believe that the youth have the vision and the drive to push for a better future. So the idea is to provide viability to innovative ideas, and in the process, demonstrate that climate change impacts everyone and that despite different contexts, geographies and demographics, we all share the need for sustainable solutions.
Participating in the SS challenge
The SS Challenge demands innovative thinking. We want short, clear and compelling proposals that show how climate issues can be addressed though social innovations, out-of-the-box thinking and creative use of existing/new technology.
To this end
- Entries must propose solutions to specific climate problems or opportunities
- Entries should be practical and developed enough to be credible for partner organisations to take-up
- The proposal should be precise and clearly worded (within 500 words), ideally supported by a video (less than 2 minute) that illustrates both the problem and the proposed solution
The proposals will be judging based on:
- Novelty: To what extent does the proposal encourage out-of-the-box thinking or a radically different approach to an established problem.
- Implementability: Whether the solution is practical and if it can be credibly and affordably implemented
- Impact: To what extent will the solution be beneficial and to whom.
- Sustainability: Whether the solution is viable in the long run. Whether it can become self-sustaining e.g. can it raise funds for itself? Or is it achievable through awareness generation alone, or does it strive for Policy change and how?
Prizes! It’s a win-win for everyone
IYCN, UKYCC and CEE plan to take this collaboration forward by opening an ‘Ideas Café’ that will contain all credible entries from the contest. A place to share ideas and nurture them with the help of our wise and supportive partner organisations.
The winners will have extra reasons to celebrate –
- i) Winning entries will be featured in an India-UK award ceremony at COP 21 linked to award events in the UK and India pavilion.
- ii) The top three entries along with two honourable mentions get to take home certificates and trophies.
iii) Mentorship/guidance: The overall winner will have the opportunity to realize the winning solution with help from any of the collaborating organization(s) that best meet the requirements.
Friday, 20th November 2015 Wednesday, 25th November 2015
2359 hours IST