Capacity building and awareness raising are at the core of the discussions currently underway at the climate change meetings in Bonn this month on Action for Climate Empowerment. “ACE” is the new term coined for climate change education, training and public awareness which are covered under Article 6 of the Climate Change Convention and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. At stake, as we progress steadily towards 2020 and entry into force of the Paris Agreement, are the new international rules on climate change in a world that will be just that little bit warmer (on average) than today, as well as just that little bit less predictable in terms of its weather systems and resulting impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable. We know how important education, training and public awareness are for enhancing action on climate change, providing that they are well targeted and high-quality initiatives.
As the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) move into detailed negotiations on ACE more than 150 delegates met to hammer out some bright ideas. Issues at stake include the need for dedicated financing, the critical importance of national education systems for climate change action, and the need for free access to high quality knowledge exchange and online learning. “This agenda provides the DNA of everything that we are trying to achieve on climate change” said Chebet Maikut, the Commission for Climate Change of Uganda, and UN CC:Learn Ambassador. The workshop was opened by Mr Emmanuel Dlamini, the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and co-chaired by Ambassador Deo Saran of Fiji and Ms Ana Maria Kleymeyer representing the Federated States of Micronesia. Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, Mr Angus Mackay, helped to facilitate working groups on training and on NDC/NAPs. “This is an evolving story” said Mr Mackay “but we are now moving towards something concrete and tangible for education, training and public awareness”.