Biggest-ever global hackathon to tackle climate breakdown

Biggest-ever global hackathon to tackle climate breakdown

Today, on global Climathon day, over 140 city hackathons will take place in 56 countries around the world, in what will be the biggest-ever hackathon to accelerate action on climate change.

From the global north to the global south, EIT Climate-KIC is hosting over 6,500 individuals—including majors, entrepreneurs and citizens—to build on climate activism, and tackle the climate breakdown by creating innovative solutions to local challenges.

EIT Climate-KIC, the UN Environment Programme, world leading scientists and global business leaders, are calling on citizens to use the Climathons as an opportunity to collaborate, rethink and come up with creative solutions to help cities make the necessary transition to a sustainable future.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, calls on people to get involved: “The science is telling us that the climate crisis is accelerating, and cities must adapt. Innovation will be a powerful tool to address climate change and fast-track the decarbonisation of cities. I hope citizens and city leaders join us at Climathons around the world to create climate-resilient societies in which natural ecosystems and people thrive.”

The 24-hour hackathon events will span across Europe, to Sri Lanka, Sudan, the Philippines, Honduras and Pakistan. Sail to the COP is hosting the first-ever Atlantic Ocean Climathon, attended by 36 young activists currently sailing across the Atlantic to COP25 in Chile.

Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate-KIC explains the significance: “By 2050, more than two-thirds of the global population will live in cities, while climate change is expected to affect every country in the world. Climathon is an empowering movement that offers people the opportunity to work directly with their cities to address the climate emergency. We need radical and transformative ideas—made by people, for people and for the places they live in—that have the power to change the world and prepare cities for the challenges ahead.”

Previous Climathons have been effective in turning the innovations created by citizens into reality. In 2018, Ecoten designed an Urban Heat Vulnerability Map at the Vienna Climathon. The temperature map identified the neighbourhoods most vulnerable to extreme heat to strong-arms cities to address climate action. After the Climathon, the team worked with Vienna city officials’ to plan and ensure the heat does not impact vulnerable groups such as children or the elderly.

Bernd Vogl, Head of the Energy Planning Department of Vienna, commented: “Cities play a key role in tackling the big challenges of climate change and they will gain further importance in the future. As a model city in climate protection, Vienna uses the Climathon to develop sustainable innovations together with citizens and its creative start-up community.”

Sumeet Sandhu, Founding Member, Protea in San Francisco, commented: “The Climathon is the largest global climate hackathon, with a well-established brand and platform. It is the most efficient way to get cities and their communities activated into action and solutions—anywhere on the planet. It is also a platform for sharing city learnings globally, so that smaller cities can learn from the experiments of well resourced cities.”

Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin, said: “The City of Turin continues to support innovative ways to find answers to the challenges of climate change and the circular economy. We have opened the doors to innovation, but we do not want to be just a city to experiment, we also want to be generators of ideas and thanks to Climathon, we are confronted with new possibilities on a useful occasion to build a sustainable city.”

Worldwide, teams with the most inspiring ideas will have the chance to present themselves at the CHANGE NOW Summit in Paris 2020. Finalists will receive implementation training as well as attendance to the awards ceremony and three-day summit.


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Catherine Ouvrard

Communication manager