DUBAI, UAE, June 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC), in a strategic partnership with UNESCO and the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA), upgrades the ‘Climate x’ Campaign it initiated last year to contribute to the progress of global climate governance and the success of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).
The Campaign aims to mobilize global multi-stakeholders to cultivate future climate leaders, with a particular focus on the synergistic perspective between climate change and other UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ‘Climate x’ Leadership Training Program 2023 (the ‘Climate x’ Training), which is the first flagship program of the Campaign, has received an enthusiastic response from global youth. Within just one week, over 1,000 college students from over 70 nations and regions have applied. The application portal will remain open at http://climatexleadership.gauc.net/ until June 30th.
“The innovative actions and contributions of young people on promoting carbon neutrality, addressing climate change and achieving the SDGs are remarkable,” said Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Multi-sectoral Regional Office for East Asia and Representative to China, DPRK, Japan, Mongolia and ROK, at the launching ceremony of the ‘Climate x’ Training. “International organizations, educational institution alliances, policy makers and the private sectors should work together to provide a global platform for them, so that their talents can be lightened, their voices can be heard and their actions can be seen.”
A paradigm shifts
Being an existential challenge, climate change is closely interconnected with all the other UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and holds transforming impact across social and economic sectors. The transition towards a carbon-neutral economy is a paradigm shift that will give rise to a new model of development.
As its theme indicates, the ‘Climate x’ Campaign emphasizes the synergy between climate change and other SDGs and features a three-dimensional structure to engage with the broadest multi-stakeholders. At the national level, the Training aims at fostering future climate leaders. On the regional scale, a Regional Forum on Climate Change is to encourage broader academic collaboration. At the international level, the Global Youth Climate Week, a brand-new mechanism co-initiated by GAUC and its global partners, is to amplify youth climate action worldwide.
Thanks to the collective strength of GAUC’s member universities and the firm support from its global partners, the first ‘Climate x’ Campaign harvested significant success. It cultivated 100 young students from GAUC’s member universities to take the lead in climate actions, mobilized over 40 universities across Africa ahead of the COP27 in Egypt, and attracted over 100 multi-stakeholders on 6 continents to support the climate actions of youths. At the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), the representative students selected from the training issued an open letter to global climate leaders in Sharm el Sheikh, and handed it personally to 5 national heads of state, 14 ministers from 11 countries, and a dozen government delegations.
Building upon the success from last year, the Campaign 2023 will adhere to its mission and structure while further enhancing the inclusivity and impact.
U28 for COP28
Given that COP28 will take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), GAUC has established a strategic partnership with the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA), which comprises 15 member universities across Asia.
With the University of Tokyo and Tsinghua University being members of both alliances, this partnership brings together the educational and academic resources of 28 universities worldwide, with a special focus on Asia. During the Campaign, the member universities from the two alliances will collaborate to provide interdisciplinary online courses for the ‘Climate x’ Training. Moreover, they will work closely to raise global awareness of Asia’s climate challenges and to mobilize the network of higher education institutions across the continent for decisive climate efforts leading up to and following COP28.
In addition to the expanded collaboration within the higher education sector, the Campaign also witnesses even more concrete support from global partners across a wide range of industries, including UNESCO, UNITAR, and Arab Youth Council on Climate Change, among others.
Train the Trainers
To empower more young individuals and enable them to embrace the opportunities presented by the paradigm shift and lead future climate initiatives, the ‘Climate x’ Training 2023 is open to college students worldwide.
“Youth are the backbone of the net-zero future. The ‘Climate x’ Training is designed to help them shoulder this historic responsibility.” said Dr. WANG Binbin, the Executive Secretary-General of GAUC. “It will impart academic knowledge, expand their global perspective, and deepen their understanding of global climate governance. Moreover, we hope it serves as a guiding light, facilitating their journey towards self-fulfillment.”
Featuring the ‘Train the Trainer’ approach within a “1+3” module, the training program is dedicated to empowering students to transition from being learners of climate knowledge to becoming leaders of climate action. The module is divided into two parts: “1” represents the online coursework spanning one month in July, while “3” symbolizes the three hybrid events that enrolled students must organize from August to November.
As an integral part of the ‘Climate x’ Campaign, the Global Youth Climate Week 2023, scheduled from November 20th to 24th this year, will provide a platform for all training participants to showcase their third event and bring the climate actions of college students to the international arena.