Young people, children and educators from all 56 Commonwealth member countries are invited to join a special challenge aimed at harnessing community-led innovations about sustainable energy – the first of its kind for the Commonwealth.
The initiative was officially launched at the 3rd Biennial Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Forum, which took place in London from 24th to 26th May.
“A goal of the energy transition is to bring about and ensure energy security for all, especially our future generation and our children. It is therefore essential that they are at the centre of our work, plans and efforts.
"The Commonwealth Children and Youth Challenge is an exciting opportunity for children, young persons as well as educators across the Commonwealth regions to show the world what they can do. I would encourage everyone to spread the word and apply for the challenge. Together, we can work towards sustainable energy for all.”
Natural Resources Adviser and Lead for the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition Agenda at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Alache Fisho, added:
“We are thrilled to support this initiative, that aims at leveraging the enormous potential of young people across the Commonwealth to enable a just and inclusive energy transition that leaves no one behind, including our young people.
"With 1.5 billion Commonwealth citizens under the age of 30, this is a fantastic opportunity for schools and communities to contribute meaningfully to moving the dial on the achievement of the goals of SDG7, the Sustainable Development Goal on Access to Energy, and be more engaged with our work in general.”
How to enter the Children and Youth Challenge
The challenge has three categories, including two that are open to children and youth, and a third that is open to all who identify as an educator, such as teachers or community leaders.
Young people aged 7 to 17 years old are invited to either:
- Category A: Submit a story or a poster about the creative use or spreading awareness of sustainable energy in their communities; or
- Category B: Develop a prototype solution that uses sustainable energy to solve a problem in their community, and document how you test it.
Educators, teachers – both formal and informal – as well as leaders in the community, are also invited to engage under:
- Category C: Submit samples or case studies of best practices and materials used to educate and engage communities on sustainable energy
Submissions must be made, via online forms available on the Commonwealth website, by the deadline of 31 August 2023. Winners of each category will be invited to pitch their ideas to their governments and policymakers, with the potential for implementation in communities, dependent on funding and the suitability of the solution.
A grand prize will be offered to the best entry in the 15-17 years category to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, with the Commonwealth delegation, to present their work.
The Children and Youth Challenge is led and designed by the youth-led CSET Youth action group, which is one of the three voluntary action groups implementing the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition (CSET) Agenda.
The CSET Agenda work programme is a flagship initiative that enables 56 member countries to work together to fast-track an inclusive, just and equitable transition to low-carbon energy systems.
- Josephine Latu-Sanft Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
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