Case Study: João's story as a Local Pathways Fellow

Case Study: João's story as a Local Pathways Fellow

"Most likely, the Local Pathways fellowship has been a turning point in my professional career. I always wanted to develop an election and climate project, but I never had the opportunity to put my ideas into practice. This fellowship provided me with a series of tools to structure my idea into a real project, with inputs to get out of ideation and incorporate global experiences for what I was doing."

Project: Clima de Eleição

Fellow: João Henrique Alves Cerqueira from Curitiba, Brasil (LPF ’20)

CHALLENGE

Brazil is currently experiencing a governance gap in the environmental agenda; this is reflected in climate inaction at the federal level. As alarmed by the IPCC's Global Warming of 1.5 ºC report, we don't have time to wait for politicians to understand the importance of tackling the climate crisis. This directly affects Brazilian cities, which are extremely vulnerable to extreme climatic stresses and are not yet adapted to deal with it. Curitiba, João's city, is going through the biggest drought in its history, with thousands of people without regular access to water in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 is a municipal election year in Brazil, with new politicians being chosen in more than 5,000 municipalities. This period presents an immense opportunity to ensure that future city leaders will discuss climate crisis topics with more qualification and seriousness.

           

                   

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SOLUTION

The "Clima de Eleição" is a project focused on qualifying the discussion about the climate crisis in Brazilian cities during the electoral period of 2020. For this, João produced a free online course on climate change and cities targeted candidates running for public office elections. The course presents basic concepts on climate science, presents the regime of international climate policies, the Brazilian laws on the agenda, shows how cities suffer and contribute to the climate crisis, and concludes with real examples of Brazilian municipal laws for climate adaptation and mitigation. To be able to access the course, candidates must commit to including the issue of climate in their agendas, working to increase social participation in their cities, and, finally, having a meeting with the "Clima de Eleição" team if they are elected at the beginning of their terms.

           

                   

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IMPACT

594 people accessed the online course, 401 were candidates for public office, and 20 of them won the 2020 elections. The project reached 253 Brazilian cities in the 5 regions of the country, and 27 of the 33 political parties got involved, demonstrating an immense ideological diversity in the interest of including the climate issue at the municipal level. The project was recognized in three calls for funding opportunities, establishing a partnership for the post-election period with the German foundation Konrad Adenauer, enabling it to formalize itself as a non-governmental organization. Finally, the Climate of Election project won the UNFCCC Adaptation Youth Policy Case Competition, competing against 61 other ideas from around the world to support decision-makers in internalizing the climate adaptation agenda. And João will present this project at COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, next year!

           

   

A WORD FROM THE FELLOW

Most likely, the Local Pathways fellowship has been a turning point in my professional career. I always wanted to develop an election and climate project, but I never had the opportunity to put my ideas into practice. This fellowship provided me with a series of tools to structure my idea into a real project, with inputs to get out of ideation and incorporate global experiences for what I was doing. The objective of presenting a project at the end of the program motivated me to work on this idea, which took on a much larger scale than I ever imagined. At the end of this experience, the project I developed on the fellowship received several recognitions and could end up becoming my full-time job in 2021. I strongly recommend this fellowship for people moved by the impact they can make and who want to transform their bold ideas into practical actions to improve their cities and territories.

João Henrique Alves Cerqueira, 2020 Local Pathways Fellow

           

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