The Galilee Fellows’ First Climathon Produces Innovative Solutions

The Galilee Climate Fellows Program, a co-production of the Heschel Center and the Arab environmental education center in Sakhnin in the central Galilee ended its pilot year with a “climathon.” Just as a “hackathon” is an intense multi–day process of teams working to come up with programming or technical solutions to a predefined challenge, the Fellows Program’s “climathon” was a two day overnight affair with three groups working simultaneously to define acute issues that they have been exposed to in their program – and devise implementable solutions.

The idea was to use the principles of the international Paris agreement and integrate them into solutions that will contribute to either mitigation of, or adaptation to climate change in the Galilee, while at the same time promoting sustainable local economies. At the end of the gruelling overnight, each group presents their ideas to the judges.

Groups, composed of participants in the program, along with other invited activists and entrepreneurs, worked into the wee hours, and started again early in the morning in a very challenging learning process, requiring a great deal of brainstorming and creativity.

The three solutions that were proposed include:

  • Developing a local currency that would be pegged to the price of carbon and whose use would incentivize reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while spurring local economies;

  • Receiving an annotated electric bill that compares your usage with that of your neighbors, and incorporates tips for consumption reduction (based on a successful British initiative of a similar nature), along with community classes to raise awareness;

  • Promote carpooling within and among the settlements of the region, using a dedicated app as well as other creative lo-tech methods.