Climate Change Challenge 2024

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Calling all students and teachers - the Oxford Saïd Burjeel Holdings Climate Change Challenge is live

Are you a high school student (aged 15 to 18) or a teacher? If so we are inviting you to enter the Oxford Saïd-Burjeel Holdings Climate Change Challenge to help to tackle the climate crisis ahead of COP29, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Through this global competition we want young people and educators across the world to contribute their ideas, and take action towards creating solutions to the greatest and most complex threat to humanity: the climate crisis.

The competition is based around five key challenges that threaten our climate:

  • air pollution
  • extreme weather
  • water scarcity
  • food security
  • biodiversity

The finalists will be invited to present their solutions to a distinguished audience in Baku, Azerbaijan during COP29 in November, and the winners will be invited to the United Kingdom where there will be given the unique opportunity to take part in a tailored climate change programme at Saïd Business School in Oxford in 2025, led by world-leading academics. 

There are two ways to enter: as part of a team of students or as a teacher. On this page you will find full details about the submission guidelines, background on the five challenges and the judging criteria.  

Student teams

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We are asking students to set out their big idea, explain their inspiration, show how they think it will make a difference and consider how their solution could be turned into a reality. Teams could include students from just a single school, or from multiple schools. Entries have to:

  • be from a team of three to five students aged 15-18
  • be submitted in the form of a 10-page PowerPoint presentation 
  • include a video they have made, up to three minutes in length. 

Teachers

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We are asking high school teachers to set the agenda in the classroom with lessons that raise awareness among students about the dangers of climate change, and encourage them to think creatively about solving it. Entries have to:

  • be from an individual teacher
  • be in the form of lesson plans that integrate climate change awareness into their school’s curriculum 
  • integrate interactive activities for critical thinking 
  • show how they support students in creating real-world solutions to climate change.

The five climate challenge areas

Air pollution

Air pollution lies at the intersection between climate change and human health. Industrial emissions and vehicle exhausts, as well household cooking and heating, all lead to significant respiratory and health issues. 

Students can explore innovative ways to reduce air pollution, such as developing sustainable methods to reduce air pollution, like green transportation or creating air filtration systems for homes and schools which are essential for improving public health. sustainable transportation options or creating air filtration systems for homes and schools.

Extreme weather

Extreme weather events - including tropical cyclones, droughts and heatwaves - are increasing in frequency and intensity. 

Mitigation and adaptation require new innovative approaches and high school students can brainstorm solutions to help communities better prepare for and respond to these events by designing early warning systems, developing resilient infrastructure, or creating sustainable farming practices through what is called agritech.

 

Water scarcity

Climate change is causing water scarcity in some areas and fooding in others. Each of these areas have their own history and distinct situation. 

Students can propose ways to conserve water and manage resources more effectively, such as implementing rainwater harvesting systems, developing innovative irrigation methods, or designing water filtration systems for communities in need. 

Food security

Climate change impacts agriculture, making it harder to produce enough food to feed everyone. Food scarcity directly impacts nutrition, and malnutrition is a major risk factor for many diseases.

High school students can explore solutions to improve food security, like vertical farming techniques, sustainable farming practices, or developing climate-resilient crop varieties.

Biodiversity

Healthy ecosystems act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helping to regulate our climate. Conserving and restoring natural spaces on both land and water, and the biodiversity they contain, is essential for limiting harmful emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change. 

Finalists and winners

For finalists, all expenses for COP29 in Baku will be covered by Burjeel Holdings and Saïd Business School. For the winners, all Oxford expenses will be covered by Burjeel Holdings, Saïd Business School, and partners. The finalists and winners will also gain access to a vibrant community of influential entrepreneurs and thought leaders in innovation and social impact from around the globe.

How are entries judged?

Entries for student teams and teachers will be judged against the following criteria:

Student teams

  • Identifying the problem
  • Research and analysis of the issue
  • Level of innovation and creativity
  • Feasibility and practicality of implementing your solution
  • The impact and stability of solution, is it scalable?
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Ethical considerations and wider impact, is the approach inclusive and fair?
  • Sustainability and long-term impact of the proposal
  • Overall impression - professionalism, passion and commitment.

Teachers

  • Educational impact
  • Alignment with curriculum
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Clarity and structure
  • Engagement and student participation
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Integration of technology
  • Ethical considerations and stakeholder impact
  • Practicality and replicability
  • Overall impression.

The history behind the Climate Change Challenge

The next generation will inherit a planet suffering from the extreme effects of climate change, in ways we do not yet understand. We do know that no country, continent or community will be left untouched. From the devastation wrought by drought and flood, threatening the supply of food and water, to the ever-rising number of climate change refugees, tomorrow’s leaders will have significant climate change challenges to contend with.

Burjeel Holdings, one of the leading healthcare providers in the Middle East, is an organisation committed to protecting life. Oxford Saïd, one of Europe's leading business schools, is committed to giving future business leaders the tools and knowledge to innovate in creating a better, safer, cleaner world. That is why, together, we launched this global competition in 2023 for today's teachers and tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers.

Key documents

Before entering please make sure you review in full these key documents

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