Young people are agents of change in the search for climate solutions | News | Eco-Business


Impact of BEEco-Business’s sister nonprofit organization on Tuesday launched the second edition of the Sustainability Exchange to engage young people to work with experts in the field to tackle climate change.

“We need to empower young people to do something,” said Jessica Cheam, EB Impact board member and president of the SG Alliance Climate Action at the launch event in Singapore on Tuesday. “The days of awareness are over, what we need today is action,” Cheam said.

The three-month Youth Mentorship Program is designed to help youth create solutions to some of the city-state’s toughest sustainability challenges with the goal of advancing the Singapore Green Plan, which launched earlier this year.

By working with relevant mentors, young people will develop proposals in line with the five pillars of the Green Plan, including: the city in nature, the energy reset, the green economy, the resilient future and sustainable living.

“It’s a good opportunity to learn, not only about the challenges, but also to have an important conversation about the trade-offs of being in Singapore with the limited number. [land] resources, ”said Desmond Tan, Minister of State of Singapore, Ministry of Sustainability and Environment.

“I hope you gain a better understanding of the underlying climate issues and the trade-offs required to find sustainable development solutions,” Tan said. In Singapore, these compromises include switching to reliable and affordable renewable energy sources while weaning the country from its dependence on fossil fuels.

Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Environment, Republic of Singapore, speaking at the launch of the second edition of the Sustainability Exchange on October 19, 2021. Image: Eco-Business

EB Impact has refined the program since the first round by convening a steering committee to provide technical expertise and advice to design a set of problem statements to guide innovations.

One area of ​​focus, called ‘Energy Reset’, invites young people to think about how Singapore can achieve net zero emissions with limited sources of renewable energy. Under “Living Sustainable” – program participants will discuss how to encourage behavior change in Singapore and how it could be measured.

The initiative reflects growing appeals from young people who are facing a future of extreme weather events due to climate change and who are looking for ways to cope. Global youth movements have shown growing impatience over climate inaction by world leaders, including in Singapore, where young people first lobbied for tougher action at the country’s first climate rally in 2019.

“Thirty years of blah, blah, blah,” said Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist, during the opening session of a Youth4Climate event in Italy in September, saying that much was promised but little done to combat the global warming.

Asia will suffer the brunt of climate change, with many parts of the region facing increasing average temperatures, deadly heat waves, extremely humid weather, hurricanes and drought. Personalities from the private and public sectors stressed the importance of increasing funding for technological solutions to help tackle the crisis.

Aware of this need, Facebook has, for a second year, pledged its support to the Stock Exchange. “Young people are an important source of creativity and they are well placed to develop innovative ideas to address emerging challenges,” said Daniel Lim, public policy manager, Facebook Singapore. “It is important that public-private partnerships give them cutting-edge resources and knowledge. “

Eighty youth and 21 mentors participated in the pilot program. The teams came up with solutions like gamification of food footprint education, tackling waste in the beauty industry, and empowering millennial retail investors to overcome barriers to investment. sustainable.

OCBC Bank will commit SG $ 100,000 (US $ 74,366) to fund the top five selected projects under its #OCBCCares Environmental Fund which focuses on identifying gaps where sustainable and strategic support is needed and the financing of projects that can directly mitigate the problems of climate change.

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