10 Climate innovators leading environmental change

The Paris Climate Agreement came into effect last week on November 4, making its terms legally binding by international law. The terms of the agreement, ratified by 55 signatories to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, will propel governments to adopt sustainable policies which will effectively tackle climate change and move towards a low-carbon global economy.

A year after the historic talks, the UN’s COP22 conference kicked off yesterday in Marrakesh, where global leaders will build on the foundations of the Paris Agreement and carve a path forward. As governments must use this opportunity to take concrete action, take a look at these 10 young innovators who are building a sustainable future.

Heloise Greeff, South Africa

More people have a phone than access to water; Heloise is bridging this by leveraging the power of mobile technology to revolutionise water security. She has developed Smart Water Systems for use in hand pumps in rural Kenya that can predict pump failures and identify groundwater levels. The data can better shape public policy in remote areas where access to clean water is scarce.

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Rainier Mallol, Dominican Republic

As the earth’s temperature rises, so does the prevalence of disease. Rainier co-founded AIME, a company that leverages epidemiology, public health & artificial intelligence to predict deadly outbreaks and tackle the spread of disease before they occur. His work specifically tracks and addresses Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and diseases that impact mothers and children.  

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Yolanda Joab, Federated States of Micronesia

Yolanda is at the forefront of climate change’s devastating effects in small island communities. She is a Senior Program Coordinator at the International Organization for Migration, where she runs the Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction & Education Program across Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

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Parker Liautaud, France

Parker is an environmental campaigner who has completed three expeditions to the North Pole. In 2013, he led a world-record-breaking expedition to the South Pole to raise awareness about climate change. He became the youngest man to ski to the South Pole at the age of 19. He is now a Policy Advisor for Natural Resources at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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Barkha Mossae, Mauritius

Barkha is passionate environmentalist. A diplomat for Ministry of Foreign Affairs by profession, she helped set up #SeeingBlue, an initiative that encourages young people to take a greater interest in the state of the oceans. #SeeingBlue won the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice Award; Barkha spoke alongside Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, and Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, at the One Young World 2016 Summit in Ottawa.

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Aushim Merchant, Thailand

1.8B people will face water scarcity by 2050; Aushim works to develop water management and conservations systems with farmers in local villages in the ASEAN region to combat this issue. He founded the Mintra Foundation with the aim of promoting inclusiveness in education, economic development, and environmental protection. He is working to set up a decentralised waste management system that produces compost and fuel from landfill site with zero emissions.

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Enass Abo-Hamed, Palestine

With the Paris climate agreement now in force, renewable energy will play a big role in achieving its targets. Enass is the co-founder and CEO of H2GO which creates clean, safe hydrogen storage solutions and aims to bring affordable, reliable energy to millions of people around the world. H2GO won the best energy startup award at the HT Summit this year.

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Bryant Zebedy, Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands are on the brink of disappearance, and pollution is threatening the remaining marine ecosystem which Marshallese people live on. Bryant works tirelessly to conserve the ocean which provides 80% of their daily resources. He has helped collect over 2,000 pounds of solid waste in underwater and beach clean-ups.

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Anoka Abeyrathne, Sri Lanka

The homes of roughly 21M people are threatened by climate change. In Sri Lanka, 600 hectares are lost annually due to rising sea levels. Anoka’s Growin’ Money eco social enterprise has helped over 5,000 vulnerable Sri Lankans adapt to these changes with new farming, eco-tourism and digital skills. After the 2004 tsunami disaster, Anoka led the replantation of over 40,000 mangroves which provide a natural defense against major storms.

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Khizr Imran Tajammul, Pakistan

90 million people in Pakistan don’t have access to energy. With his enterprise Jaan, Khizr is using solar energy to research and manufacture affordable energy solutions for low-income communities. Jaan won the Social Startup Competition at the 2014

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