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, and supported by Pacem, Pinsent Masons & Danske Bank, 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 Pacem, Daniel Glover explained, “Environmental Sustainability is something that has been at the heart of our business ethos for quite some time and is an area of continuous development. We are delighted to support the 30 Under 30 Climate change makers programme in order to promote positive environment and sustainability outcomes in the wider community. We are looking forward to watch the cohort grow and become the next generation of leaders here in Northern Ireland and further afield”.
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