LONDON, June 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Major cities across six continents including national capitals such as
Beijing, Washington DC, New Delhi, Addis Ababa and London will unite
for 24 hours on 18 June. Entrepreneurs, students and policy makers will
work together to find new solutions to local climate change problems
ranging from sea-level rise to the conservation of biodiversity.
As diplomats around the world work feverously towards a global deal for
the UN's COP21 climate change summit in December, participants around
the world join together to find innovative solutions to climate change
as part of a Climathon organised by the EU's main climate innovation
initiative, Climate-KIC. The best solutions will be presented during
the COP21 in Paris.
Ebrahim Mohamed, Climate-KIC's Director for Education, said: "At
Climate-KIC, we constantly look for the best ideas. We then focus on
training the talent to scale those ideas up to solutions with high
impact. With governments from around the world scheduled to meet at the
COP21 summit here in Europe, now is the time to empower citizens to
take action and find solutions. We also need to find new ways to deal
with the climate change that is already occurring."
The Climathon is set to coincide with the much anticipated environmental
encyclical by Pope Francis. Climate-KIC Chairman John Schellnhuber,
director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), is
the only scientist to join Cardinal Peter Turkson for the presentation
in the Vatican on 18 June and will give a speech. Climate-KIC is an
official partner of the former US Vice-President Al Gore's Climate
Reality Project, which runs a global series of "Road to Paris" events
in 2015 under its Live Earth banner, in collaboration with the United
Nations. The Climate-KIC Climathon aims to connect and empower citizens
around the world to take direct climate action in their cities in the
run up to COP21.
The focus in each city is on predefined local climate change challenges,
ranging from finding ways to counter threats posed by sea-level rise in
Boston, USA, to developing the best solutions to find ways to empower
the citizens of São Paulo, Brazil, to improve the conservation of its
biodiversity. A full overview of all challenges is available on http://www.climate-kic.org/climathon.
In Washington D.C., Meghan Chapple, Director at Office of Sustainability
at the George Washington University said this about the local Climathon
challenge: "In our nation's capital we still have work to do to turn
local waste into resources. Solid waste contributes to greenhouse gas
emissions and climate change. We are inviting students, professionals,
designers, and entrepreneurs to develop inspiring solutions that we can
put into practice."
In Brazil, Jose Ripper Kos of the Federal University of Santa Catarina
said: "Rio de Janeiro has a unique urban configuration, squeezed by the
sea and mountains which contains significant natural parks. In this
context, transportation is a major ecological, social and economic
issue." Ripper Kos is head of the university's Architecture and Urban
The best teams go to Paris
In every city, the teams will engage on social media to exchange and
cross-pollinate ideas with participants from around the world. The best
team in each city receives coaching and support from Climate-KIC after
the Climathon to move their idea forward together with the city itself.
The best teams globally will go to Paris to present their ideas on the
world stage during the summit.
The intercontinental hackathon-style event will take place at well-known
universities, research centres, government facilities and corporate
offices in Africa, Asia, North and South America, Oceania and Europe.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
In Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia takes part. In Asia, Beijing and New
Delhi join the event. In North America, Washington D.C. and Boston
join. South America is represented by Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in
Brazil. Oceania takes part from Wellington, the New Zealand capital.
Europe is represented through Copenhagen, Birmingham, Frankfurt,
Gothenburg, Helsinki, London, Winterthur and Wałbrzych in Poland.
Climate-KIC is the EU's main climate innovation initiative. It is
Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership focused on
mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC consists of
companies, academic institutions and the public sector.
The organisation has its headquarters in London, UK, and leverages
national and regional centres across Europe to educate students and
professionals, to support start-up companies and to bring together
partners on innovation projects to bring about a connected, creative
transformation of knowledge and ideas into products and services that
help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and
Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.
Visit http://www.climate-kic.org/climathon for an overview of partner organisations and the climate change
challenges per city.
Follow the Climathon on 18 June on social media via the #Climathon
hashtag, and the Climate-KIC channels http://www.twitter.com/climatekic and http://www.facebook.com/climatekic.
Global Media Contact
Individual media contacts in the cities: http://www.climate-kic.org/climathon/media-contacts
For further information:
Head of Communications Climate-KIC
+44-(0)20-7492-1972 / +44-(0)-7872-850-084 (British Summer Time / UTC +1)