Students took to the stage tonight to present their environmental solutions to a panel of judges and a live audience at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre for the 2019 Minister’s Climate Challenge, a key event in Queensland’s first Climate Week.
Five teams of students from Waterford, Noosa, the Gold Coast, Maryborough and Townsville were selected for their ability to identify a local climate problem and brainstorm an innovative business or social change idea to solve it.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said there was an overwhelming response to this challenge and more than 5000 eager students submitted their solutions to local climate problems.
“This challenge was set to encourage creative thinking when it comes to solving local environmental issues at a time where we are all celebrating World Environment Day.
“The Queensland Government is doing its part to protect the future by working towards 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050,” Ms Enoch said.
“But we recognise that leadership is needed at every level, in our communities and at local, state and federal government levels, if we are going to make a difference and the ideas seen tonight contribute to that.
“Brilliant solutions were presented including ideas on how we can further reduce plastic waste, encourage sustainable tourism, harness kinetic energy, and use applications to educate on climate and increase healthy coral in the reef.”
The challenge tops off a week of exciting climate change events and activities.
Ms Enoch said Climate Week had been an opportunity for Queensland to showcase its credentials in tackling climate change.
“We are fortunate to be hosting some of the preeminent leaders in climate change, that includes welcoming ideas from the next generation of leaders.
“This was a fun and educational experience for the students and proves that we are never too young to innovate and play a role in important global action.”
Youth leadership in climate action is a theme of Climate Week QLD and the five teams were given a three-day business bootcamp in Brisbane and an opportunity to meet former US Vice President Al Gore and talk about their ideas.
Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and Challenge judge Leanne Kemp said she was impressed by the students’ commitment to tackling climate change at a local level.
“Future generations will inherit the responsibility for truly sustainable development and I’m passionate about educating as many people as possible on the benefits of the circular economy,” Ms Kemp said.
For more informationon Climate Week QLD, go to climateweekqld.com
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch