Image via Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
A cohort of 30 people under the age of 30 has been convened to lead the local response of the younger generation to the climate emergency.
In the first of its kind for Northern Ireland and the UK, the class of 2022/23 30 Under 30 Climate Change-Makers was competitively assembled by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful in an application process that attracted over 100 submissions from young people from across the country.
The group made their introductions on Friday 11 November in a ‘Finance, Economy and Business’ workshop led by business and media commentator Justin Urquhart Stewart and the Belfast-based emissions-data company Catagen. The programme pulls together individuals from an array of backgrounds, including representatives from some of Northern Ireland’s leading public, private and third-sector organisations.
Úna Barrett, a 30 Under 30 participant said, “The changing climate continues to shape our lives immeasurably. The Climate Change-Makers programme has created an invaluable network of like-minded individuals and provided us with a crucial platform for cross-sector collaboration and idea sharing. Being involved in this prestigious programme and meeting my fellow participants has reignited my hope for the future of the planet.”
Jenna Potter, the programme manager at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful added, “30 Under 30 Climate Change-Makers is a fantastic platform, bringing together our brightest and most climate-engaged individuals who have a passion to make a change. The programme aims to give young people an opportunity for collaboration, connection and the knowledge needed to shape the environmental future of Northern Ireland.”
Founder of Podiem, Kevin Kelly explained, “Economic dynamics and game-changing businesses have already played, and will continue to play, a critical role in averting a climate catastrophe. This is why we wanted to kick 30U30 off by covering the topic of finance, economics and business. For the participants to hear from one of the UK’s most respected financial commentators in Justin Urquhart Stewart and a Belfast business that is transforming the emissions landscape globally in Catagen ensured that the programme got off to an inspirational start.”
To feel equipped, inspired and empowered to represent young people’s response to the climate emergency, the class of climate leaders will receive further world-class training from industry experts in areas such as ‘Policy, Politics and Media’, ‘Environment, Science, Leadership and Resilience’, and ‘Communication, Relationships and Influencing’.
Intended as an annual opportunity for anyone who is aged 30 and under and residing in Northern Ireland, 30 Under 30 Northern Ireland Climate Change-Makers was inspired by the Environmental Educators 30 Under 30 initiative that was introduced by the North American Association for Environmental Education in 2016.
The programme is delivered by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Podiem, and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Pacem, Pinsent Masons and Danske Bank.
For more information on the programme and its participant, visit www.keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org/30under30-ccm