Meet Black Girl Environmentalist Mikalah Bailey. plus the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance. The Earth Foundation awards the Earth Prize.
Meet Black Girl Environmentalist Mikalah Bailey, Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance, The Earth Foundation’s Earth Prize!
THE BEYOND OIL AND GAS ALLIANCE
Denmark and Costa Rica have joined in an unlikely yet wholly fantastic alliance on the ever of COP26. It’s called Beyond Oil and Gas, and it’s an alliance they’re trying to forge with other countries willing to fix a date to phase out oil and gas production and to stop giving permits for new exploration. It came into being this past August, about the same time Costa Rica was introducing a permanent ban on oil and gas exploration in its own country.
Both the UN, its latest IPCC report and the International Energy Agency all agree that zero new investments in fossil fuel supply projects should be a global priority. According to BOGA draft documents, “Restricting domestic oil and gas production in line with what is required to live up to the Paris Agreement goals will be the core focus for BOGA.”
Denmark is one of Europe’s largest oil and gas producers. In 2020, it banned new North Sea oil and gas exploration. It also committed to ending its existing production by 2050. In an interview with Reuters, climate and energy minister Dan Jorgensen said, “Very few countries have taken such steps and we hope that this alliance will be something that will be noticed and hopefully inspire others to join.”
Why does BOGA matter to us? It’s another wake up call. After all, many countries have pledged to become carbon neutral by whatever date they announced but are actually still planning to produce oil and gas after that date. Additionally, major oil and gas producers like Saudia Arabia or Russia– whose economies depend on fossil fuels–have shown no interest in curbing production. The more nations sign onto BOGA, the more we can call out these bad actors.
Gotta admit, the whole time I spent researching this story, one refrain kept repeating in my head––BOGA, BOGA, BOGA!
THE EARTH PRIZE
The Earth Prize is a $200,000 environmental sustainability competition for teenage students everywhere. It recognizes students and schools with the best solutions to accelerate positive change towards environmental sustainability, as judged by The Earth Prize Adjudicating Panel.
The winning team will receive half of the $200K total prize.runners up will split the rest of the proceeds.
The Earth Prize comes from the Earth Foundation, a Geneva, Switzerland-based organization whose mission is to “inspire, educate, mentor and empower students, schools, researchers and young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to tackle the problem of climate change.”
The competition is open to any 6th through 12th grade student on the planet, aged 13-19. One caveat. If your 20th birthday is before March 26, 2022, you are ineligible to apply. And although the registration form must be in English, there is no other language restriction.
Teams are allowed up to five students, and the students don’t have to be in the same grade. They do, however, have to attend the same school. Each team must have an assigned adult supervisor. Supervisors can be teachers, admins, program coordinators or other educators. Homeschooled students may have their parents act as supervisor. In all cases, an official document certifying the supervisor’s role must accompany the registration.
Oh and one more thing, a supervisor can be assigned to more than one team.
Here’s the thing to remember. The Registration deadline is October 30, 2021. Project submission deadline is November 1, 2021 through January 30, 2022.
The goal right now is to get registered. So what to submit? Submissions to the Earth Prize are expected to propose solutions aimed at accelerating positive change towards environmental sustainability. The Adjudicating Panel will consider a wide range of local, national or global solutions. They should be new ideas with implementation potential as well as possible existing student projects, products, organizations, enterprises or campaigns.
Here’s my advice—get your supervisor, register now, and figure out the submission later.
THE EARTH FOUNDATION
You know we love the Earth. It is our planet. We love the Earth. It is our home. And now we also love The Earth Foundation dot org. Peter McGarry, who founded the Earth Foundation in 2020, is an Irish-born, Switzerland-based entrepreneur whose four children’s passion about fighting climate change finally got to him.
According to its website, the goal of the Earth Foundation is to inspire, educate, mentor, and empower student, schools, researchers and young entrepreneurs to tackle the challenge of climate change.
The Earth Foundation does this through the sponsorship of two major climate change awards, creating a mentoring program, and also through the development of an Earth Foundation alumni association over time. It also offers a limited variety of webinars on topics ranging from how to apply for the prize and the award to a personality profile on a past winner.
As mentioned earlier, The Earth Prize is a $200K total prize pool designed to inspire students 13-19 to develop the best possible local, national or global project to help us combat climate change. The Earth Foundation Awards will support research efforts in the field of environmental sustainability through yearly grants and scholarships totaling $300K to university students and researchers.
MEET BLACK GIRL ENVIRONMENTALIST, MIKALAH BAILEY
Hey, everybody, meet Black Girl Environmentalist, Mikalah Bailey. She’s the Brand and Influencer Partnerships Director for Black Girl Environmentalist. According to her LinkedIn, Bailey is “building and maintaining brand and organization partnerships for BGE. Recently organized and met with prominent sustainability platforms to have them participate in BGE’s “Reclaiming Our Time” campaign. Currently working on internal planning for future events and campaigns.”
Bailey is also a Stanford University standout. She interned as an Activism and Outreach Intern for the World Wildlife Fund. There she researched, planned and designed graphics for this year’s Virtual Panda Ambassador Summit. She assisted with Panda Ambassador outreach and overall social media strategy planning.
Bailey even organized a GoFundMe to create a scholarship to support Cal Berkeley African American Students. Why does a Black Girl Environmentalist brand influencer matter to us in the climate movement?
Precisely because climate change is all-encompassing. So tackling it must include strategies that are all encompassing. BGE understands they’re not going to reach everybody through science or through politics or even through environmental justice. Some folks are going to swing from inertia to action through the lens of culture. Being a brand influencer and partnerships director is how Mikalah Bailey and BGE draw more people into their tent. Smart.