Biggest ever global climate hackathon to tackle climate breakdown

More than 100 Climathon events across the world turn grassroots activism into climate action

Today, on Global Climathon Day, over one hundred and forty city hackathons will take place in fifty-six countries across the world, in what will be the biggest ever global climate hackathon, to accelerate action and innovation on climate change.

Globally, from the West to the Global South, EIT Climate-KIC is hosting more than 6,500 individuals – including majors, entrepreneurs and citizens, to build on climate activism, to tackle climate breakdown and create innovative solutions to the big climate issues that we face.

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 can make a fundamental 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 across 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 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 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.



For more information, graphics and interviews, please contact:

Samantha Le-Royal 

Rachel Parkes 0777 565 2919

Charlie Dakin 07367 889531

EIT Climate-KIC is Europe’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a net-zero carbon economy. With over 380 formal partners from across 26 countries, its mission is to catalyse systemic change for climate action through innovation in areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions – cities, lands, materials and finance – and to create climate-resilient communities. Education underpins these themes to accelerate learning and to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.

At the heart of EIT Climate-KIC’s approach is ‘systems innovation as a service’ whereby it creates a space for a portfolio of strategic innovation options and experiments, oriented around structural levers of change, designed with and for problem owners like city and regional governments, industry owners and directors, community organisations and policymakers. The organisation acts as a multi-sided platform, working across boundaries and across sectors, fostering innovation as a catalyst for transformation. It facilitates the creation of innovation consortia and community-driven change. It challenges and enriches business model design. It offers tailored support for experimentation, implementation and scaling.

Climathon is a year-round programme with a powerful solutions-hackathon at its core, generating projects, supporting climate-positive businesses and start-ups and addressing local policy changes.   Climathon empowers citizens, cities and local economies to come together to develop local solutions to cities’ climate challenges. Powered by dynamic and dedicated Local Organisers, Climathon has grown to over 100 cities and with a global reach in the millions. Climathon is supported by EIT Climate-KIC, a body of the European Union.

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