Rewarding efforts to save the planet

[Image] The Climate Change Leadership Awards
is the first African competition that
recognises and rewards original ideas
that will help to save the planet and
combat global warming.
(Image: carbonquids.com)

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Wilma den Hartigh

Climate change trailblazers with innovative ideas to green South Africa only have a few more days until 6 February 2012 to submit their entries for the Climate Change Leadership Awards.

The Climate Change Leadership Awards (CCLA) is the first African competition that recognises and rewards original ideas that will help to save the planet and combat global warming.

The intention of the initiative is to create awareness and inspire ordinary South Africans to play their part in creating a low carbon economy, a healthier society and a more sustainable planet.

According to Jeunesse Park, founder of Food & Trees for Africa and the CCLA, there has been a great response to the awards, from both applicants and sponsors.

“There has been significant interest from community groups and individuals taking a positive and pragmatic interest in the environment and the world around them,” Park says.

Climate change is no longer being disputed and the planet needs our help. The effects of rapid global warming are already evident as oceans are getting warmer, sea levels are rising and it is getting hotter.

Africa is also one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability.

Who can enter?

Any individual, company, school, community or local municipality with a green product, service or programme idea that meets the competition’s criteria can enter.

Entries can be submitted in two categories, namely climate hero or private sector.

This year the organisers have introduced new categories, including a waste minimisation award in the climate hero sector and a local municipality category in the private sector awards.

This makes the competition more accessible to a wider audience.

Climate hero

Community and youth groups, schools or individuals can submit their ideas in the climate hero category.

Just about any idea can be entered: recycling initiatives; energy conservation and renewable energy use; water conservation; environmental protection or enhancement; wildlife protection or enhancement; waste minimisation; land use protection or enhancement; climate change, environment or sustainable development awareness as well as education and food security initiatives.

The judges will be looking for entrants who show a strong sense of leadership and initiative by implementing a project, or raising awareness about climate change.

Private sector

Large, medium and small companies as well as local municipalities can enter the private sector category.

Company entries will be assessed in their sector in seven categories: energy; minerals and industrial; small and medium enterprises; retail; local municipalities; agriculture and food; financial services and other services.

Companies who enter in the private sector category must have proven leadership and an extensive track record in combating climate change. All large companies must have participated in the carbon disclosure project to be eligible for nomination.

Local municipalities that are measuring, reporting and engaging with their community about their carbon emissions are also invited to enter.

Judges

A panel of industry leaders in all things green will be in charge of deciding which ideas receive awards.

Among them are Kevin James, CEO of the Global Carbon Exchange; environmental economist Ant Dane; Andre Nel, sustainable development manager at Pick n Pay and Pancho Ndebele, chair of the Southern Africa Solar Thermal and Electricity Association.

Other industry leaders on the judging panel include Valerie Geen, director of the National Business Initiative’s climate and energy unit; Kgabo Mokgohloa, head of sustainability at the SA Post Office; and Harmke Immink, senior carbon advisor at Promethium, a consultancy that specialises in managing the effects of climate change on businesses.

• Visit www.ccla.co.za for entry forms.