Tu sei qui

December 11, 2020 - Driving Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Innovation, businesses and climate change

Due to climate change, private-sector stakeholders are already facing several problems: for example, the increase in operating costs, the reduction in the value of assets (asset impairment) and the reduction in demand of goods and services. The business world is increasingly perceiving climate change as a threat to be addressed immediately, while waking up to the opportunities arising from the transition to a low-carbon development.

This was the issue of the (virtual) meeting of the interactive Youth4ClimateLiveSeries promoted by the Ministry for the Environment, to offer the opportunity for broad and participatory preparation for the PreCop 26 preparatory meeting and the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition youth event, to be held in Milan in 2021.

Forward-looking businesses are harnessing climate action as a driver of innovation, competitiveness, risk management and growth, while delivering the emissions reductions needed to avoid dangerous climate change.

The Global Commission on Economy and Climate, international initiative promoted by former heads of state and economy ministers, has done extensive research on low-carbon and sustainable investments, shedding light on the multiple economic benefits they would lead to, including growth, jobs, and long-term resilience. Today, more and more business leaders and private-sector representatives around the world are taking bold decisions to combat climate change by moving away from business-as-usual models while mobilizing resources and knowledge-sharing to design innovation and transformative solutions.

During the December 11 meeting, three young leaders from different parts of the world discussed what forms innovation can take to best fight climate change effects.

These include:

• creating new products for consumers that generate less emissions when used (more carbon efficiency);
• use of raw materials produced with less intensity of emissions;
• reduction of the intensity of emissions of industrial processes per unit of input material;
• net reduction in the use of raw materials per unit of product.

With the current transition to a low-carbon economy, companies that are aligning their strategies with this step-change are opening themselves up to a world of opportunity. The long-term benefits and returns on investments are expected to be far greater and with wide-reaching positive impacts as proved by those companies that have adopted science-based targets.

In this scenario, youth entrepreneurship is key to implementing the necessary economic and environmental strategies aiming to mitigate the impact of our globe’s changing climates. Leading initiatives from innovative urban farming to restoring the world's degraded and threatened reefs, millennial entrepreneurs are developing inspiring solutions to challenging global sustainability issues.

Young entrepreneurs in particular are demonstrating the capacity to mitigate the impacts of climate change by using innovation as a tool to efficiently reduce, recycle and reuse.

High-Level Speakers
John Frank, Vice President of UN Affairs, Microsoft;
Gonzalo Muñoz, High-Level Climate Action Champion UN Climate Change Conference COP25 (2019).

Youth Speakers
Andrea Beye, Project Coordination team at H2020 project REFLOW, Denmark;
Bethelhem Dejene Abebe, Founder & CEO, Zafree Papers, Ethiopia;
Arthur Kay, Founder & CEO, Skyroom, United Kingdom.

Salina Abraham, outgoing President of the International Forestry Students’ Association and former coordinator of the Youth in Landscapes Initiative;
Ahmed Badr, writer, multi-media artist, social entrepreneur, the Founder of Narratio and a former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment.

For those between the age of 15 to 29 it is possible to participate in #SumItUp competition by presenting a summary of the main messages of one of the episodes.

All information available here:

Previous episodes: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9R0MYGYsvktTHzxKY9KjGcKLIsqyjwyz

For further information - Milan 2021


December 11 ,2020
Driving Innovation & Entrepreneurship

 Virtual event

 Time: 16:00-17:00 CEST - 10:00-11:00 am EDT 

 Type: open

 Format: discussion, italian translation available


The webinar was focused on enhancing the dialogue between business and youth, to widen the participation of young entrepreneurs on both global and regional platforms and increase their engagement and exchange, and also direct access to markets, investors and financiers via an online community of practice and training platform.

The webinar was attended by Gonzalo Muñoz, High-Level Climate Action Champion, and John Frank, Vice President of UN Affairs, Microsoft, and three young leaders.

The session covered ways how international community, governments, and private sector could collaborate and cooperate to:

• Secure support for the main change levers and coordinated actions needed to accelerate the transformation 
  processes that will deliver the vision for a resilient, zero emissions world.

• Emphasize the need of the governments to strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement.

• Address the engagement of non-Party stakeholders, particularly the private sector, for mitigating greenhouse gas
  emissions and/or at adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Youth speakers were asked to provide their inputs on the above topics, including by:

• Providing their views on how entrepreneurs and private sector can contribute to effectively achieving the Paris Agreement goals.

• Sharing their own experience in driving youth led entrepreneurship initiatives and ideas on how to enhance the dialogue on climate
   change with the international business sector.

• How to incentivize well-functioning existing incubators and accelerators to expand into climate technology markets.


 Documents: Concept note



Salina Abraham
Outgoing President of the International Forestry Students’ Association and former coordinator of the Youth in Landscapes Initiative.

Ahmed Badr
Writer, multi-media artist, social entrepreneur, the Founder of Narratio and a former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment.

High-Level Speakers

Gonzalo Muñoz, High-Level Climate Action Champion UN Climate Change Conference COP25 (2019).
He described the activities carried out within the Race to Zero Campaign.


John Frank, Vice President of UN Affairs, Microsoft.
He described the activities undertaken by Microsoft to fight against climate change.


Youth Speakers

Andrea Beye (Denmark)
He is a PhD Fellow at the Department of Operations Management at the Copenhagen Business School. His research focuses on Value Creation in urban transitions for the Circular Economy. During his previous professional experiences, he has been President of Oikos Copenhagen, a local chapter of an international student-driven NGOs.
Bethelhem Dejene Abebe (Ethiopia)
She is the founder and CEO of Zafree Papers, a company that is introducing a 100% tree-free paper pulp made from agricultural waste.
Arthur Kay (United Kingdom)
He is the founder and CEO of Skyroom, an initiative that provides these workers with high-quality, sustainable, and affordable homes, located close to where they work. He is also the founder and Deputy Chairman of bio-bean, a clean technology company that recycles waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemical.