The UNFCCC is very happy to announce that the vote for draft resolution 1.3 on the topic of Climate Change Education has passed. The delegations of the UNFCCC, which were kind of departed in two camps earlier, have worked really hard on a compromise that is accepted by all delegations. During a really productive unmoderated caucus they united their power and created a draft solution that combines both earlier introduced ones.
The final resolution encourages the further development of existing education methods and the education on preventative and reactive actions and calls upon states to adopt culturally-sensitive education methods. It also recommends to increase the awareness of climate change and its impacts using different communication channels as well as social media and furthermore emphasises the use of funding. It was very inspiring to see, that in the end all delegation focused on finding a compromise in order to frame a resolution that is considering and respecting multilateral demands. All delegations – except of the United States of America – voted for the draft resolution in a vote by roll call – special thanks to the delegation of Uzbekistan.
Looks like all the hard work, the discussions, caucuses and points of anything have provided a common consensus, which often does not happen in other committees. Also, it is to be emphasised that all delegates have improved during the sessions, improved themselves to stand up, speak up and be the change!
The delegates of the UNFCCC have finally come down to business – THANK GOD.
Felt like they took the saying “the way is the goal” slightly too seriously, but there is still hope that they will eventually get over the education topic and come to the one that is possibly the more “urgent” one as Small Island Developing States are already facing the impacts of climate change in their everyday life.
There are two draft resolutions provided, that still have to pass the undeviating eyes of the committee, but anyways they will hopefully lead the delegations to a common resolution that everybody seconds.
The main substances of the two submitted draft resolutions are:
The first one, sponsored by Canada, Korea, Maldives, Russian Federation and Spain, mainly promotes the creation of a global pool of research and knowledge program compiled by climate change experts, scientists and sociologists from every member state. It also emphasises the concept of equal participation on an eye-level concerning the issue of knowledge distribution.
Draft resolution two, sponsored by Chile, France, Germany, Iraq, Lithuania, New Zealand, Switzerland, “recommends the creation of a committee composed of impartial global research to overview and supervise the authorisation for funding from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) for individuals and Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) due to their contribution to climate change education to support regional actors”. Also, it points out the approach of encouraging governments to include climate change as a mandatory topic to schools and universities.
During the sessions and breaks as well as at the legendary delegate ball where delegates were still discussing instead of dancing their asses off, it became quite clear, that everybody just wants to find a common consensus which will hopefully happen, ASAP!
What already showed up in yesterday’s time of speakers list is confirmed during an unmoderated caucus in today’s session. It became quite clear, that there are two camps building up about the topic of climate change education.
The first one – which is clearly dominated by developed countries – is working on strategies to improve education in school for example by exchanging students, teachers and specialist but also want to reach people outside school for example through social media and internet campaigns in order to raise awareness about climate change.
The second camp is focusing on creating a fund to implement education. As the developing countries are also facing short term impacts such as natural catastrophes they are constantly trying to include covering these costs with the fund.
As Uruguay stated that “we (the UNFCCC) can´t decide on whether or not a fund is built to raise money for climate change education” and even the chair reminded the delegates of already existing funds, they started to imply the possibility to expand such funds with the topic of education.
Just at the right time, David Miles, the Undersecretary-General for Personnel himself got enough of the never-ending speeches and the lack of solutions going on in the UNFCCC, so he decided to intervene and make clear, that everyone must focus and move forward to actually work on creating results instead of holding speeches about various points over and over again. The fact that there appeared several working papers and delegations are constantly working on them – even in their lunch break – raises hope that David Miles’ words are not being forgotten.
The speakers list at the UNFCCC seemed to be endlessly. Even though all delegations agreed that education on climate change topics must be improved all over the world, there were two main questions that were constantly discussed and could not really be answered: How do we fund it and what strategies of education can be used efficiently?
After the Fijis stated that not all countries are financially equal – surprise! – it was suggested to build a common climate change education fund to especially support those nations who are financially depending on others. Developing countries are not only facing financial issues but also struggle with infrastructural, environmental and general education challenges. It is essential to not aim to build up strategies that fit any country but to analyse the individual circumstances in each state and try to implement education instruments where they are needed and where they can reach the most citizens.
The main consensus of the day may be, that building networks and partnerships between developed and developing countries are essential to ensure an exchange of knowledge and an exchange of technology aiming to step forward with climate change education. Special emphasis is on the words exchange here to point out Barbados statement, that they are not in any need of “help” from France like back in the colonial era which has – according to France – “been hard for every one of us!”
UNFCCC finally started the conference after a long and maybe alarming serious debate about whether or not pineapples belong on pizza. An Instagram survey has resulted in a 50 % Yes and No, the debate continues…
Setting the agenda, France raised a motion for addressing the topic A “Climate Change Education” first, which was accepted in the end. Surprisingly, Mauritius spoke in favour of addressing the education topic, which leads to the question if they are not in need for immediate action in order to prevent their inhabitants from fleeing from their country? And does such a move mean that the SIDS have already given up on mitigating the impacts of climate change and have come to just adapting? It became clear in the opening speeches that both industrial and developing countries emphasise the importance of climate change education as the strongest weapon against the impacts of climate change – except the United States of America of course, that still believe the changes are natural.