Transitioning away from coal-production towards cleaner forms of energy is a major concern shared by environment-conscious governments and citizens all over the world. Communities across the globe are suffering from coal-based pollution, and clean energy sources need to be developed – and implemented – to provide for a sustainable future. What are the obstacles in building a clean energy future, and how do we transition away from sources of energy that are harmful to nature and health? The United Nations COP15 Climate Change Conference taking place in Copenhagen this year will address climate change issues like these.
While only government representatives can participate in the Climate Change Conference, you might have the opportunity to be part of this event. Focus the Nation, a US non-profit organization, is offering young climate leaders with fellowships that allow them to present their ideas to the international communities participating in the Climate Treaty negotiations. If you are between 18-29 years old and live in a coal-producing or coal-consuming community, you can participate in “Coal and the Road to Copenhagen: The Focus Roots Fellowships.” What you need to do is come up with an innovative, creative idea to accelerate your community past coal.
“In order to accelerate the transition away from energy sources like coal, and toward a just and prosperous clean energy future, every town needs stronger roots and deeper community engagement. And the deeper these clean energy roots reach throughout your community, the faster we can move toward utilizing renewable energy systems and redefining prosperity,” according to Focus the Nation.
The project, which is supported by Nike, Climate Ride, Youth Noise and the Danish Embassy, will award two Fellows with a $10,000 grant each in the categories “Sport” and “Art.” The two Fellows will receive financial and operational support from Focus the Nation to launch and implement their ideas between August and December 2009. In addition, the recipients will take part in a bicycle ride from NYC to DC from September 26-30, where they will workshop their progress with 200 other riders. Afterwards, the recipients will travel to Denmark to present their projects at the conference in Copenhagen.
“This will be an unprecedented opportunity for young climate leaders to bring the story of their community and their passion for climate creativity and innovation to the local, national and international stage,” writes Focus the Nation.
Applications are due July 15, 2009, and the winners will be announced on August 6th. To apply, please visit the Focus the Nation website.