Oxford Saïd and Burjeel Holdings collaborate to launch the global Climate Change Challenge ahead of COP29

The competition running for the second year to start accepting entries from XX June; top finalists to present their solutions during COP29 in Azerbaijan

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, in collaboration with Burjeel Holdings, is delighted to announce launch of Oxford Saïd-Burjeel Holdings Climate Change Challenge – a global competition aimed at empowering high school students and educators to address the climate crisis, for the second year in a row.

Following the resounding success of its inaugural year, which garnered over 600 applications from more than 43 countries, the second edition of the competition is poised to amplify its impact and engage youth from around the world in the fight against climate change. This year’s finalists will be invited to Azerbaijan during COP29, and the winners will come to Oxford University in 2025, to study a short programme.

From June 10, 2024, until September 15, 2024, students, as a team comprising of three to five members, along with educators, are invited to submit their proposals addressing five key themes:

Food Security: Addressing the impact of climate change on agricultural production, food distribution, and access to nutritious food.
Biodiversity: Protecting and preserving biodiversity in the face of habitat loss, deforestation, and species extinction.
Water Scarcity: Developing sustainable solutions to address water scarcity, water pollution, and access to clean drinking water.
Air Pollution: Combating air pollution caused by industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust, and deforestation, and its detrimental effects on human health and the environment.
Extreme Weather Events: Mitigating the impact of extreme weather events such as floods, tropical cyclones, droughts, and wildfires on communities and ecosystems.
Teachers are required to submit their entries in the form of lesson plans designed to educate students about climate change and its various aspects.

The urgency of addressing climate change has become increasingly evident. Every month from May 2023 to April 2024 has seen record-high global temperatures according to multiple datasets, with the 12-month period ending April 2024 the warmest on record. The record warmth is linked to an increase in extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, and floods. These events are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change, so the need for innovative solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change has never been more pressing.

“The Climate Change Challenge represents our commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders equipped to tackle the climate crisis head-on,” remarked Dean Soumitra Dutta of Oxford Saïd. “By empowering youth to drive change and fostering collaboration across borders, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.”

Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman of Burjeel Holdings, added, “This collaboration underscores our commitment to addressing global challenges through education and innovation. We are seeing more extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, and floods that highlight the urgent need for decisive action against climate change. By engaging the next generation in this critical mission, we can foster the creativity and determination needed to combat the climate crisis effectively.”

In addition to global recognition, the top five finalists will be awarded the opportunity to present their solutions during COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, gaining invaluable exposure and contributing to the global dialogue on climate change. The winning students will also receive a coveted opportunity to attend a specially-curated programme at Oxford University in 2025, immersing themselves in cutting-edge climate research and innovation. And, the winning teacher will be invited to participate in a programme at Oxford University in 2025, furthering their professional development and impact in the field of climate education.

Juliane Reinecke, Professor of Management Studies at Oxford Saïd, expressed her enthusiasm, stating: “The Climate Change Challenge provides a platform for students and educators to transform their ideas into actionable solutions. By fostering collaboration, innovation, and knowledge exchange, we can address the climate crisis and create a more sustainable and equitable world for all.”

For more information and to apply, visit here.

Featured Photo by Chris Gallagher on Unsplash.

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