The 58th session of the Subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC, also known as the Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB 58) took place from 5 – 15 June 2023. Like preceding sessions, it was packed with mandated events and talks on issues preluding COP28, which is scheduled to take place in Dubai, UAE, at the end of the year.
There, UN CC:Learn, National ACE Focal Points and other key stakeholders got together to advance the ACE agenda, particularly at two key events: the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Academy and the ACE Dialogue. The former consists of a capacity building events to train ACE Focal Points and Negotiators on key topics, and the latter provides a regular forum for Parties and other stakeholders to share their experiences, exchange ideas, good practices and lessons learned regarding the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement.
The Academy, guided by UN Climate Change and the Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project, in collaboration with UNITAR/UN CC:Learn Secretariat, Euroclima and YOUNGO, focused on monitoring and evaluating ACE at national level. UN CC:Learn facilitated a session on National ACE Strategies. There was considerable interest from countries in developing a strategy or in setting activities around ACE, as well as experience sharing among those countries who were at some stage of implementation of the Strategy.
The ACE Dialogue that followed delved even further into monitoring and evaluating ACE (watch recording for Day 1 and Day 2) with the event culminating in a showcase of posters through the ACE Gallery. The Gallery showcased several initiatives, including the integration of climate change and green economy into school curricula undertaken by the Government of Ghana, with support from UN CC:Learn (see Ghana’s poster featured in the ACE Gallery).
In addition, in the spirit of strengthening regional cooperation, UN CC:Learn, with input and support from UNFCCC, organized a regional meeting on strengthening climate change education in West Africa. Representation from various countries including Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Senegal and Togo, as well as the regional training centre Agrhymet, enabled an enriching discussion around the promotion of ACE in the region, as well as a declaration on climate change education to be presented during COP28.
Lastly, and in keeping with tradition, UN CC:Learn organized and delivered a Climate Classroom on Loss and Damage for around 250 young people attending the SB talks who joined in-person and online. In an exciting panel discussion featuring the United Nations University, the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition and UNICEF, this often complex but crucial topic was an unpacked with lots of questions, ideas and food for thought shared during the exchange.