Education International
Education International

Education unions want COP22 to be the “action COP”

published 10 November 2016 updated 10 November 2016

Education unions at the 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have insisted that this conference be the “action COP”, enabling the implementation process of last year’s formally adopted Paris Agreement.

The 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is being held from 7-18 November in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Union demands

At the conference, unions are pushing for a tighter Paris Agreement and implementation process. To achieve this, the trade union movement has demanded that governments:

·         Raise expectations and achieve the potential of climate action for creating jobs

·         Provide funding for climate action and support the most vulnerable people

·         Commit to a just transition for workers and their communities

“The objective is to contain the increase in average temperature below two degrees by 2020, and ensure a just transition to a carbon-free future for workers and communities,” said Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.

EI objectives

According to EI, which is part of the trade union delegation comprising 150 representatives from 50 countries, education must be at the heart of national, regional, and global efforts to fight climate change.

Firstly, while implementing the Paris Agreement, governments must ensure that climate change is included within education policies and curricula in their countries.

Secondly, governments should adopt measures strengthening initial training and continuous professional development for education personnel. Education workers must be adequately equipped to provide quality education on education for sustainable development (ESD), including the challenges arising from climate change.

Thirdly, EI believes that it is necessary to strengthen the Paris Agreement by providing adequate and predictable financial resources for education, training and research on climate change.

Finally, overall consistency should be ensured between the Paris Agreement, the sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and the UNESCO global action programme for ESD. For EI, such an integrated governance will define a solid international framework aiming to curb climate change.