Education International
Education International

The chance to strengthen educational capacities on climate change being missed at COP21

published 9 December 2015 updated 11 December 2015

When an agreement is eventually reached at COP21 to keep the earth’s temperature from rising beyond two degrees, the education needed to build the capacity to make it happen may be noticeably absent.

While debating the Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21) Draft Agreement, the most high-profile issues, such as the financing of the fight against climate change, or the recognition of the differentiation of countries’ responsibilities have been constantly under the spotlights. However, the theme of the nations’ capacity-building to address climate change has gone almost unnoticed.

Education International (EI) consultant Richard Langlois, in Paris following the delegations, said that it is going to be a major challenge for the countries to develop their own capacity outside of a climate deal.

“Education and training are crucial to strengthening these capacities and to speed up the necessary awareness-raising among social actors and the public,” said Langlois. According to EI, this is one of the major aims of the section of the Article 8 of the Draft Agreement on climate change.

In order to successfully shift societies away from carbon, EI argues that the sustained support of education systems is crucial to the process. Yet no agreement has been reached on the type of activities that need to be reinforced.

Despite the fact that the COP21 discussions are nearing their end, the three other components being negotiated in this section are still outstanding, including increased aid from rich countries to poor countries, transparency measures and progress as well as the type of institutional arrangements required to implement the whole process.