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Education experts meeting in India have recommended including education into the updated national climate plans governments will submit following the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year – the so-called “Nationally Determined Contributions” (“NDCs”) - and have agreed on recommendations to immediately boost climate education.

Better education is crucial to help societies transition to low carbon and resilience, for example by helping people fully deploy clean energy and preparing for more extreme weather resulting from climate change such as droughts and floods.

Adriana Valenzuela, focal point for Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Convention (UNFCCC) said:

Education plays a fundamental role for the implementation of the Paris climate change agreement and for the Sustainable Development Goals. All relevant organizations urgently need to build capacity, in all areas of society. There is a wealth of knowledge that we can tap into, and international cooperation and knowledge-sharing can play a major role in making the world more sustainable.

UNFCCC's Adriana Valenzuela speaking in Ahmedabad

Over 750 participants from 22 countries gathered at the International Conference on Education as a Driver of Sustainable Development Goals, in Ahmedabad, India.

Good practices discussed in Ahmedabad included:

  • The so-called “Barefoot College” in India is fighting illiteracy and training women to be solar engineers to provide access to energy in remote areas.
  • China has been able to better harness clean energy at the national level by building the capacity of policy makers and training key market stakeholders.
  • People in Nigeria were able to develop a low carbon cooling system with the help of an educational programme.
  • The Maya Nut Institute in Guatemala is training women to sustainably harvest, process, sell and use varieties of a native edible nuts, ensuring better food security.
  • Education has played a crucial role in informing choices of policy makers and engaging stakeholders to plan, implement and use of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), low carbon and low cost mode of public transportation.

 At the end of the meeting, participants adopted the Ahmedabad Framework for Action. Recommendations include:

  • Integrating education into the next NDCs as one of the main drivers for enhancing climate action.
  • Strengthening the capacities of decision-makers and other stakeholders to implement climate education.
  • Ensuring funding for climate change education.
  • Enhancing international cooperation to scaling-up climate change education and action.

Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director of Center for Environmental Education India and organizer of the Conference, said:

The fact that 188 countries have prepared their INDCs is an opportunity to gather thoughts on how education can act as a driver of climate action and sustainable development.

The results of the conference will be presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Morocco in November this year, during Education Day.

For more information about the conference, see here.

About "Action for Climate Empowerment

"Action for Climate Empowerment" (ACE) - is the focus of Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change related to – education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and international cooperation.

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