BEIJING, PARIS and STELLENBOSCH, South Africa, September 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — 2022 is unusual in many ways, as expressed by Todd Sternthe former special envoy for climate change of United States, in a recent interview. Extreme droughts leading to famine in the Horn of Africa to heat waves through Europe and the floods of Asia2022 shows the world what this “code red” of climate change looks like.
It is crucial to prepare the young people of today to lead global climate governance in the future, as well as to engage society as a whole in this cause, in particular from a perspective focused on the synergy between climate change and the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), if we are to succeed in building a sustainable net zero future for all.
The Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) was established in 2019 to provide leadership in global higher education efforts to address climate change. Today, it consists of 15 of the world’s top universities from nine countries and six continents. By launching the “Climate x” campaign, GAUC aims to offer a systematic solution to the progress of global climate governance and a concrete contribution to the success of COP27 by preparing young people, promoting a synergistic approach and mobilizing multi-actors.
“This is a time of enormous challenges. Our health and well-being, our peace and prosperity, and nature itself, are under threat. The most pressing issues facing countries are ultimately global in nature and they demand global solutions. The Climate x’ campaign is a great example of this,” said Amina J.Mohammedthe Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, in her speech at the launch of the campaign.
The campaign, which unites the collective strength of the 15 member universities of GAUC, is based on three levels: a national program of Leadership Training Pilot “Climate x” (the Pilot) co-initiated by Sciences Po in Paris and Tsinghua University of beijing; a regional event of the African Regional Forum on Climate Change organized by the University of Stellenbosch, the only GAUC member university in Africa; and three events at the international level, namely the Global Youth Climate Week, the GAUC Climate x Summit and the GAUC COP27 high level event.
Youth play a key role
Climate change is a challenge that will have a lasting impact on our descendants in the future, making youth the backbone of the net zero future.
Prior to the official launch of the campaign, the pilot program recruited and trained more than 150 students from GAUC member universities, forming the first cohort of GAUC Young Global Ambassadors. These students, divided into 21 interdisciplinary and cross-cultural teams, have developed innovative solutions, ranging from digital games and mobile applications to panel discussions and community engagement, which will be showcased during the campaign.
A synergistic approach is essential
Climate change is intertwined with all the SDGs and holds transformative power over broader social and economic sectors, making a synergistic approach that integrates the achievement of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda essential to build a sustainable net zero future. Considering current global topics, GAUC has distinguished four areas to focus synergy with climate change in 2022, namely sustainable and secure energy; Finance; Nature, Biodiversity & Food; Adaptation & Resilience.
The campaign’s regional event, the Africa Regional Forum on Climate Change (FRA) will be a hybrid event September 5-9, 2022, covering topics such as food and water security, disaster risk reduction, sustainable and reliable energy, and the impact of climate change on people and businesses. Leading to the COP27ARF aims to provide a platform to engage multiple institutions and stakeholders in the science of climate change and its applied social and policy implications in Africa.
Mobilize the whole of society
The success of the cause requires the support of society as a whole. In 2021, the GAUC Climate x Summit attracted more than 1.25 million participants worldwide during the COP26. In 2022, the three-level structure of the Climate x campaign will involve even more multi-stakeholders.
During the launch ceremony, GAUC invited global organizations and institutions to co-initiate Global Youth Climate Week. Planned before each COP, it is a mechanism that GAUC has proposed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to coordinate the actions of young people for a more impactful contribution. M/s. Patricia Espinosathe then UNFCCC Executive Secretariat believed that the proposal would make a significant contribution to the UNFCCC process by mobilizing and institutionalizing the efforts of global youth in the response to climate change.
For more information on GAUC, please visit: https://gauc.net/
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SOURCE Global Universities Climate Alliance