100 Young People To Develop New NI Climate Emergency Response

A new initiative has been announced to bring together a group of 100 young people to develop Northern Ireland's response to the Climate Emergency, supported by Allstate Northern Ireland.

Ahead of the UN climate change summit COP26 in Glasgow, Northern Ireland2035 will challenge young people aged 18-25 to address the legacy of their generation on the climate and local environment.

The initiative comes after a report by the Climate Change Committee found the lack of green policy for NI has caused heightened uncertainty over the future impact of climate change on Northern Ireland. Two competing climate-focused Bills, each with varying targets for cutting emissions, are currently being considered by the Assembly.

Launching on Thursday 14 October, NorthernIreland2035 will unite young people aged 18-25 to consider the proposition: 'How can we act together to transform Northern Ireland into a cleaner, greener place for all?'

The initiative is part of Legacy, a global campaign by international leadership development organisation Common Purpose, which aims to create a connected generation of leaders with a clear vision for their legacy by investing in young people.

Supported locally by Allstate NI, Belfast City Council, Belfast Metropolitan College, the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, Belfast Charitable Society and Power NI, the programme will empower the leaders of tomorrow to change the course of society's actions on the environment.
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This will be done through free, personalised leadership coaching sessions and connecting with established leaders from Northern Ireland. Individuals who complete the programme will also connect with young leaders from other global Legacy initiatives, including in the US, Singapore, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Germany.

One of Northern Ireland's largest employers, Allstate is encouraging young people to sign up for the initiative and has donated the cost of two places to its partner Women's Aid.

Managing Director of Allstate NI John Healy said: "We at Allstate are thrilled to support Common Purpose in bringing their Legacy programme to Northern Ireland. As we emerge from one global crisis, there is no doubt that we are facing into another in terms of the damage caused by society to the environment. The challenge of making the world a cleaner and greener place for all is one that must be addressed and prioritised at all levels, including across the business world.

"As we seek to develop leadership qualities among our young people, we must ensure they are equipped with the communication and collaboration skills necessary to work with all in our community. We encourage all young people, whether in or out of employment to join the programme and begin their journey to becoming a business leader of tomorrow."

UK Managing Director of Common Purpose Marie Mohan said: "Our Legacy programmes pre-dated the pandemic, but they are coming into their own now given how important it is that we invest in young people after the year they've had – in terms of the damage to their education, employment prospects and social lives.

"Equally, we need to involve them in shaping the recovery plans for the future of their communities and to let them know that their perspectives are valued. We need a new generation of young leaders to come through who have the commitment and ability to bridge divides and we all need to hear and support our young people with their big ideas and long-term thinking."

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