1 man, 1 woman, 2 bikes, 10,000 km and 9 months to complete it in.
Inka, 19 years old, and Fabian, 18, are two teenagers with a mission: cycling across Europe and discovering people engaged in making a difference for our climate. They are setting an example to many and their message is clear: a sustainable and carbon neutral way of travelling is possible and it does not take too much effort.
These young advocates are the Ambassadors for Climate Neutral Now, a project run by the UNFCCC. They visited our Global Campaign Centre to learn about the SDGs, and tell us their story of how they became passionate activists for Climate Action. Meet them and be ready to be inspired!
“People shouldn’t be scared of doing things just because it’s not what is expected. Just do it if you think it is important! ”
Inka – Climate Ambassador
They have so far cycled over 4,000 km to reach Germany from Porto, Portugal on their way to Greece, after which they will return to Bonn in time for the annual UN Climate Change Conference COP23 (6-17 November).
Along the way they are interviewing people from key projects and initiatives, focusing on the UNFCCC secretariat’s Climate Neutral Now and Momentum for Change initiatives but with a view to also seeing what key NGOs such as C40 Cities, their respective mayors and city administrations are doing in terms of climate action.
They agreed to record our chat in a live interview that went on line on the same day on Facebook and that is now available on YouTube as well.
They are still travelling through Europe and they will be spreading the word and raising awareness on what can people do to be Climate Neutral and try to combat climate change.
(Top image: UN colleagues & Young Leaders with Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians / UNRIC)
Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) is Europe’s leading forum on development since 2006. The development community comes together every year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. This year’s edition took place on 6-8 June, 2017 in Brussels.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals stand at the European Development Days included a wide range of exciting and innovative features such as the #SDGstudio, virtual reality films, touch-screens showcasing data visualizations and polling mechanisms on the SDGs, and a selfie photobooth to invite visitors to show their commitment and take action on the Goals.
The UN stand is organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign, the UN in Brussels (25 UN entities), UNECE and the World Bank. Occupying a central space at the European Development Days global village, the UN SDG stand is a convening space to engage thousands of visitors on the Sustainable Development Goals and showcase the efforts of the United Nations and its partners around the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
During the European Development Days:
Thousands of people visited the United Nations stand, with active participation of several hundreds per day (in total there were 8000 participants attending EDDs)
There were 35 #SDGStudio dialogues! 16 on Day 1 and 19 on Day 2.
The United Nations was involved in more than 50 out of the 120 EDD sessions
More than 90 UN colleagues were hosts at the UN Stand, inviting delegates and showcasing SDG innovation
Around 350 people took a selfie at the photobooth
The #SDGStudio was a new and exciting feature of the United Nations stand, which is a unique platform to generate informal and insightful inter-generational dialogues between young leaders and high-level officials from the United Nations, the European Commission and a wide range of other institutions present at the EDDs. The #SDGstudio was proud to host the following dialogues:
Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations & Suman Kumar, EDD Young Leader, Nepal
Role of Youth for the SDGs: Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium & Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services, Belgium & Esenam Amuzu, EDD Young Leader
Health and SDGs: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General elect, WHO & Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety & Kalaba Nkonde, EDD Young Leader
Discussion on SDG Advocates and promoting the SDGs: Thomas Gass, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) & Laura Hildebrandt, Programme Specialist, UN SDG Action Campaign
Partnerships and the SDGs: Thomas Gass, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) & Leonardo Parraga, EDD Young Leader
The young women received briefs from several UN agencies, including UNFPA, UNOCHA, and UN Women, plus Project Everyone. They discussed the possibilities and challenges as female YouTube creators, and also spoke about the opportunities for empowering and inspiring women around the world through YouTube. The Creators committed to integrate the advocacy language into their own content programming on an ongoing basis and to activate these topics through various angles.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a remarkable opportunity to build a more sustainable and equitable world for present and future generations. This project empowered influencers in new media with the proper knowledge and confidence to further messaging around the SDGs to their respective audiences in their own words. The aim is to convert young influencers into long term activists for the SDGs and the issues they feel most comfortable in championing.