Young climate advocates celebrate ‘Climate Inspirations’ in Dublin

25 Mar 2011

More than 40 young climate advocates from 12 European nations gathered in Dublin city centre today to celebrate ‘Climate Inspirations’, the Challenge Europe international showcase event.

The event aims to highlight the huge potential for sustainable employment in the low-carbon economy, and discuss how the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of the upcoming generation of innovators can be harnessed.

The ‘Climate Inspirations’ event celebrates the culmination of the Challenge Europe project. This three-year initiative, sponsored by the British Council, supported more than 600 ambitious young people – aged 18 to 35 – from all over Europe, who wanted to make a lasting impact on climate change and to accelerate progress to a low-carbon, sustainable future. 

Fifty-two young people from Ireland, North and South, participated in the project, by acting as climate advocates.

The ‘Climate Inspirations’ showcase provides visual interpretations of the projects developed by participants over the course of the Challenge Europe Initiative. Members of the public are invited to view the displays, at the European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 until 31 March.

“The Challenge Europe project is proof that young people have the capacity to meet climate change challenges through innovation. Some of the enterprises and projects conceived as a result of this process is developing into sustainable initiatives, which will have a lifetime far beyond this project”, said Matt Burney, director of the British Council in Ireland.

Last July, the ‘Street Feast’ event was successfully held in numerous locations across Ireland. The event, which was developed out of a project by Irish climate advocates, encouraged more people, particularly in cities, to grow more of their own food as a way of combating climate change.

“It also encouraged people to make use of green spaces and use local products for their picnics. We now expect that ‘Street Feast’ will take place again this year, with more people taking part and buying into the idea,” said Burney.

Irish collaboration, ‘Project Better Place’, worked on securing the necessary infrastructure to make electric vehicles a viable form of transport in Northern Ireland.

The ‘Low-Carbon Entrepreneurs’ project, also developed by young Irish participants, aimed to assist entrepreneurs and businesses to create green business ideas and opportunities to capitalise on the ‘Green New Deal’, whereby governments across the globe promised to support the green economy.

“Enterprise supports, third-level programmes and finance institutions must change their focus and invest more in upcoming entrepreneurs and climate change leaders who feel passionately about greening our economies. After the global financial crisis, we must not simply rebuild the same high-carbon-emissions business models. Rather, we should move to a different model that supports and rewards sustainable and environmentally-friendly business and industry,” concluded Burney.

A website has been set up as part of this project to offer tips and information to those interested in greening their business.