06 Aug 2018 Story Climate change

Young Champions join climate trailblazers

Three Young Champions of the Earth have been selected as Climate Trailblazers in the run-up to the Global Climate Action Summit, 12-14 September, in San Francisco, California, America.

The Climate Trailblazers will be tasked with amplifying climate activism by showcasing their initiatives to tackle climate change and exemplifying how everyday actions can help people achieve extraordinary results.

Adam Dixon, Eritai Kateibwi and Liliana Jaramillo, representing Europe, Australia and Oceania, and Central and South America respectively, have been chosen as emerging voices with a passion for addressing climate issues.

The UN Environment Young Champions of the Earth, powered by Covestro, will join 22 Climate Trailblazers from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia and Oceania to spread awareness of the goals of the Summit.

Eritai Kateibwi Te Maeu Projects CEO. Photo by UN Environment

The three Young Champions are already working on the frontlines of climate action. Kateibwi’s Te Maeu Project is installing hydroponic equipment to support local communities to grow nutrient-rich foods on the island of Kiribati, where agriculture is threatened by rising sea levels.

Kateibwi said: “I am honored and blessed to be part of the Global Climate Trailblazer community. We do what we do because we love our people and land. We may not able to solve every problem - but I am doing what I can to help solve what I see as one of the biggest problems of our time for our nation.”

Liliana Jaramillo, Founder of Nativus Quito. Photo by UN Environment

Jaramillo’s organization Nativus Quito is building urban resilience to climate impacts by growing native plants across rooftops. Her research is helping to grow more species native to Ecuador which can be installed in urban architecture across the country.   

She said: “There are so many ways in which anybody can be part of the solution. My passion for conservation led me to search for solutions to preserve native species, rather than causing their extinction. I hope that sharing my story will raise awareness and encourage more people to take action. The moment is now - and the more of us there are, the better it will be for the next generation.”

Adam Dixon, co-founder of Phytoponics. Photo by UN Environment

Dixon’s innovative climate solution is his hydroponic system which can be scaled commercially to reduce carbon footprints along the food value chain. Having tweaked and fine-tuned his unique grow-bag technology, he is planning to expand production next year.

Adam Dixon, co-founder of Phytoponics, said: "I started Phytoponics to make agriculture fully sustainable through innovation and technology. I am tired of the waste, inefficiency and hunger in our current food chain. By sharing common issues multilaterally through the Sustainable Development Goals, governments, communities and companies can implement positive changes bit by bit and we'll get there."

“We’re proud to support a fantastically diverse team, each of whom brings a unique perspective on climate change action,” said Nick Nuttall, Communications Director for the Global Climate Action Summit.

The Climate Trailblazers’ backgrounds encompass everything from sustainable farming to creating coral reefs and more.

“This unique mix of people and programmes mirrors the diversity of issues and outcomes that the Summit is showcasing, and demonstrates how everyone needs to be on board to address multiple challenges and to truly take ambition to the next level when it comes to tackling climate change.”

 “A vibrant future in a changing climate is possible,” said Kate Greenberg, Climate Trailblazer and Western Programme Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition.In order to achieve it, we must act swiftly, creatively and collaboratively to protect our working lands and waters, and invest in the working people who steward them.”

The 2018 Global Climate Action Summit #StepUp2018 will bring together state and local governments, business and citizens from around the world to showcase climate action. Their goal is to demonstrate how the tide has turned in the race against climate change and inspire deeper national commitments in support of the Paris Agreement.