First Young Climathon in Germany - Pupils develop innovative solutions for climate problems

As part of the first Young Climathon in Germany, 75 pupils developed innovative solutions to real climate problems of our time. As the first climate-neutral club in the Bundesliga, it was a matter close to FSV Mainz 05's heart to organise the event together with the climate protection organisation myclimate at the MEWA ARENA. The young people were given problem sets from the areas of mobility, nutrition and land use by the city of Mainz, ENTEGA, Gauls Catering and 1. FSV Mainz 05.

The Young Climathon at the MEWA ARENA in Mainz on 12 July 2022. Picture: FSV Mainz 05

The Young Climathon format comes from Climate-KIC, a knowledge and innovation community - co-founded by the European Union - working to accelerate the transition to a carbon neutral, climate resilient society. Myclimate is the official partner of Climate-KIC.

After preparatory workshops with Thomas Lanners, project manager for education at myclimate, the young climate visionaries had to develop possible solutions for their own tasks in small groups under the guidance of experts and convince the jury.

After several hours of creative work and smoking heads, the young people presented their ideas at the MEWA LOUNGE on the afternoon of 12 July 2022, first in a preliminary round and then in the grand final. In the end, the expert final jury, consisting of Janina Steinkrüger (Head of the Environmental Department of the City of Mainz), Frank Gey (Managing Director of ENTEGA), Stefan Baumeister (Managing Director of myclimate), Stefan Schäfer (Member of the Executive Board at Kömmerling) and Dr. Jan Lehmann (Commercial Director of 1. FSV Mainz 05), decided on a winning group in each of the four previously posed challenges in close decisions.

For example, the idea of a greened and solar-equipped car park at Mainz's home ground won. The proposal to provide bicycles for pupils, including a reward system for kilometres travelled, was also awarded a prize by the jury. The jury was also impressed by a car-sharing model with electric cars for ENTEGA employees to use on their way to work, as well as a creative incentive system to sell more vegetarian and vegan products at the MEWA ARENA on home match days.

Dr Lehmann considered the Climate Day a success: «Nobody should feel like a loser here. All those who made it to the finals were really good and all the others had many interesting approaches to solutions. I am sure that some of the ideas will be accepted» he told the young people at the end of an interesting day.
The young people were also very enthusiastic: «It's cool that younger people are also being asked about climate protection,» said Elias, Felix and Aziz. As a small thank-you, all participants also received an invitation to a home game of the 05ER. For FSV, it was the first climate education measure on this scale, which will hopefully be followed by many more.

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