Young Novocastrians encouraged to drive climate solutions

Tree planting with the Lord Mayor.

The City of Newcastle has secured more than $75,000 in funding to help residents aged 15 to 24 deliver urgent climate change solutions for the city.

City of Newcastle was invited to apply to the Bloomberg Philanthropies Youth Climate Action Fund (YCAF) following Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes’ visit to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai in December last year.

Alongside Melbourne and Hobart, Newcastle was one of only three Australian cities to be chosen for the funding by the YCAF, which will provide technical assistance to support up to 100 cities worldwide in delivering youth-led climate action.

Cr Nelmes said young City of Newcastle staff and the City of Newcastle Youth Advisory Council will review applications to make sure the priorities of young residents are captured.

“This funding gives our young residents the chance to design and deliver urgent climate solutions,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Microgrants of between $1500 and $7500 will be available for individuals 15 to 24 years, or organisations who represent them, to deliver youth-led climate projects, from tree planting to policy proposals.

“Any city that fully allocates the initial round of funding within six months can apply for a further $150,000 to distribute to more projects over the following year.

“With more than 80 per cent of youth around the world reporting they’re worried climate change threatens people and the planet, this is a great chance for our youth to make a difference in their own backyard.”

Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and the 108th mayor of New York City said climate change is an all-hands-on-deck challenge.

“It’s critical that young people, who have the most at stake help lead the way. This new fund will help mayors mobilise and empower tomorrow’s leaders to take action today,” Mr Bloomberg said.

Emilia Sáiz, Secretary General for United Cities and Local Governments, said youth today are the guardians of our future.

“Bringing them together with local governments through this groundbreaking initiative, we will see cities reach newfound progress in shaping more resilient and regenerative communities that can act on the climate emergency in entirely new ways,” Ms Sáiz said.

James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, said the Youth Climate Action Fund will provide a springboard for mayors worldwide to put these lessons to work.

“In order for cities to catalyse ever broadening, ever more ambitious efforts, they’ll need to continue to shift away from traditional, top-down models to those that solicit ideas and crowd in energy from across the community, including and especially from young people who are so vested in solving the climate crisis,” Mr Anderon said.

As an active member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Cr Nelmes has led a concerted effort to create an environmental legacy for future generations.

The youth-led climate projects will align with our 10-year Newcastle Environment Strategy, which was adopted last year with the key priorities of action on climate change, nature-based solutions and the circular economy.

Some of the initiatives already underway include transitioning City of Newcastle’s vehicles, plant and equipment to electric-powered or low emission alternatives and expanding our urban forest to create connected green corridors for iconic, threatened and pollinator species.

Applications for the Youth Climate Action Fund open on 1 June and close on 30 June 2024.

For more information on how to apply contact