The Climate Classroom @ COP22 Provides Innovative Learning Opportunities for Busy Delegates
Keeping abreast of the newest developments in climate change is essential to make timely, effective and sustainable decisions. Yet, adequate time and space for learning are rarely accessible for busy decision-makers and full-time working professionals. The Climate Classroom – a mobile learning space coordinated by UN CC:Learn that ‘pops up’ at the center of major climate change conferences and related events – has been developed to bridge this gap.
The first edition of the Climate Classroom was successfully held at the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22 of the UNFCCC), which took place from 7-18 November 2016, in Marrakesh (Morocco). The initiative was inaugurated on 9 November 2016 by Mr. Bob Natifu, Senior Climate Change Officer-Outreach, Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda and UN CC:Learn Ambassador for the promotion of climate change learning.
Mr. Natifu welcomed all participants and stressed that the Climate Classroom @ COP22 is an innovative learning experience, designed for anyone interested in getting up to speed on selected climate change topics during a series 45-minute sessions made available throughout the Conference. Being held for the first time, Bob also encouraged all participants to share their feedback and any suggestions for improvement.
The Climate Classroom @ COP22 has been delivered in an open space, visible to a broad public, using a completely mobile “pop-up” set-up, including chairs, a flipchart and banners. During each session, the lecturer and the 20 participants were equipped with professional head-sets through which were able to follow the lecture and engage in the discussion.
Four selected experts shared their knowledge and expertise during eight sessions.
- Ms. Ana Maria Kleymeyer, Founder, Instruments for Change (I4C)
- Mr. Gary Crawford, Vice President of International Affairs, Veolia
- Mr. Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, York University, Toronto, Canada
- Mr. Moustapha Kamal Gueye, Coordinator, Green Jobs Programme, International Labour Organization (ILO)
Five different topics were covered. While key knowledge was provided during each session, participants could then refer to the dedicated classroom materials for further information and reference.
- Paris Agreement – focusing on the Paris Agreement (Classroom Materials available here in English and French)
- Climate Action – focusing on the NDCs (Classroom Materials available here)
- Climate Finance – focusing on financing flows and instruments (Classroom Materials available here)
- Circular Economy – focusing on the pathways to a low-carbon economy (Classroom Materials available here in English and French)
- Climate Empowerment - focusing on climate change education and awareness raising (Classroom Materials available here)
Over 160 decision-makers and government officials, practitioners, academics, as well as students from the five continents participated in the initiative, providing overall a very positive feedback. “Such a course should be mandatory for any new person attending COP” suggested one of the participants. Further topics for additional sessions – such as COP and the negotiations, and climate science and the IPCC reports – were also proposed.
The Climate Classroom @ COP22 is an initiative of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn), in collaboration with the UNDP/UNEP/GEF project “Building Capacity in LDCs to Participate Effectively in Intergovernmental Climate Change Processes”. The Climate Classroom aims to be replicated at future events.
About UN CC:Learn
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of more than 30 multilateral organizations supporting countries to design and implement systematic, recurrent and results-oriented climate change learning. At the global level, the partnership supports knowledge-sharing, promotes the development of common climate change learning materials, and coordinates learning interventions through a collaboration of UN agencies and other partners. At the national level, UN CC:Learn supports countries in developing and implementing national climate change learning strategies. Through its engagement at the national and global levels, UN CC:Learn contributes to the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC on training, education and public awareness-raising, and the 2012-2020 Doha Work Programme. Funding for UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government and UN partners. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is hosted by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).