Young Innovators Shaping Breakthrough Climate Solutions Showcased at COP28

Young Innovators Shaping Breakthrough Climate Solutions Showcased at COP28

The Climate Changed Child – a UNICEF report released ahead of the COP28 climate change summit – throws a spotlight on the threat to children as a result of water vulnerability, one of the ways in which the impacts of climate change are being felt. It provides an analysis of the impacts of three tiers of water security globally – water scarcity, water vulnerability, and water stress*. Innovation30 is part of UNICEF’s call at COP28 to world leaders and the international community to take critical steps with and for children and young people to secure a livable planet.   

Only 2.4% of climate finance from major Multilateral Climate Funds go towards child-responsive activities. Innovation30 collaborates with existing climate financing funds and stakeholders to unlock financial capital for young innovators to reach maximum climate impact through their innovations. 

The world must seize the opportunity now to invest in credible innovations that contribute towards reaching critical global climate targets. 

With 3.8 billion of the world’s population now under the age of 30 – the largest generation of young people the world has ever seen – equitably equipped to innovate, the potential for progress is unlimited.  

Young people harness the power of innovation with an open mind to discovering solutions for a world in need of change and transformation. The main challenge young innovators face is securing support and overcoming the barriers of mindsets and fear of failure set as precedents from previous generations,” Marybel Montoya Alvarez, Colombia. Nominated by the Royal Academy of Engineering to Innovation30, Marybel created Fungi Life at the age of 26. The solution applies sustainable biotechnology to address industrial pollution and ecological degradation.   

Innovation30, part of UNICEF’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP), is a collaboration with 14 climate accelerators and partners from around the world** including MIT, Cambridge University and a team from Imperial College London (via Imperial Consultants, led by Undaunted), alongside a diverse inaugural cohort of young pioneers shaping breakthrough climate innovations collectively already impacting the lives of children and their communities globally. 

It is vital that we create effective pipelines into climate innovation for young talent on an international scale. Young people across the globe already have the creativity and tenacity to develop intelligent solutions that will help us to tackle climate change; it is only with the right support and investment, however, that they will be able to develop their ideas and experiences into successful, scalable and sustainable solutions for generations to come,” Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Undaunted, who led the team of independent experts from Imperial. 

Action must be taken now and not left to tomorrow. Every second of inaction that goes is like building a road to a dead end and we may never be able to find our way back from it,“  Samuel Muyita, age 25, from Uganda. He is the creator of Karpolax a solution that uses enzymes to extend the shelf life of fruits, nominated by MIT Solve.  

The initiative not only showcases young founders it sends a message to global investors and world leaders that youth-led climate solutions are impactful, scalable and investment ready.  

Seven years ago, I was told to look at my idea as a lifestyle business and not as something I could scale. Today, the same person is an investor in the business,” Kaushal Shah from India, aged 23 when he created EnvoBarrier. The sustainable flexible packaging solution was selected by Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership to Innovation30. 


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