UN CC:e-Learn marks an important milestone with 400,000 certificates awarded globally, showcasing the programme’s commitment to climate education.


Read on to find out more about this important achievement.

Last week, the UN CC:e-Learn platform reached the important milestone of 400,000 certificates of completion issued to learners from all over the world.

This achievement would not have been possible without the full support of people globally who have continually believed in the UN CC:Learn mission and are committed to building a better and more sustainable future by building their capacities on climate change, green economy, and circular economy.

UN CC:Learn offers a range of courses within these three key topics catering to everyone, from people without any prior knowledge of these topics to experts working on these issues day-to-day. The relevance and diversity of the content proposed, which builds on the most up-to-date knowledge in each area, combined with an engaging user experience, contribute to the success of the free, self-paced, online courses offered by UN CC:Learn. 

Screenshot of the www.unccelearn.org main page.

Multilingualism, tailoring, and accessibility are cornerstones of UN CC:Learn work. The e-learning platform is currently available in Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian , and Spanish, and users who register on UN CC:e-Learn currently have an array of 120 courses to choose from, many of which are offered in two or more languages. This enhances user experience by allowing them to complete the courses in their native language. The flagship “Climate Change: From Learning to Action” e-course, for instance, can be done in English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese.

UN CC:Learn resources also offer region-specific content, for instance through the “Circular Economy in South Africa” e-course, and can be accessed by individuals with impairments and on different supports.

Moreover, as part of UN CC:Learn’s alumni network, the alumni are invited to participate in events, such as the Fireside Chats, and challenges, like the 2024 UN CC:Learn Champions, which provide a platform for them to learn more about course topics and inspire others.

Moving forward, UN CC:Learn will keep increasing and improving its course catalogue while exploring other ways of promoting climate literacy. 

In September 2023, UN CC:Learn organised a “Fireside Chat on E-Waste Prevention” for all its alumni who had completed the “E-Waste Prevention” e-course.


The hour-long discussion with a UNITAR e-waste expert touched on several solutions for this growing global problem.


Read on to find out more!

Did you know that e-waste is fastest growing waste stream in the world? 

By 2030, e-waste is projected to reach a staggering 50-70 million tons globally, with great negative consequences for both people and the environment. 

As technology evolves and the world gets even more interconnected, devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops have become mainstream, but the way in which countries deal and manage the waste stemming from their use and disposal is still falling short of the minimum necessary.

To help UN CC:Learn alumni unpack the complex e-waste issue, we invited Ms. Giulia Iattoni, Assistant Programme Officer at UNITAR’s Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) programme to a one-hour Fireside Chat on “How to Prevent E-Waste”. 

During the exchange, moderated by Ms. Andrea Biswas, a Researcher and Development Professional, Ms. Iattoni shed light on what electronic waste is, its far-reaching human and environmental impacts, and how we can all be part of the solution by taking responsibility for this problem and supporting circular economy initiatives and preventing e-waste in the first place. 

Ms. Iattoni stressed the importance of having good and reliable data that can inform policymakers in the different e-waste management and prevention strategies and policies. In this context, she highlighted the role SCYCLE is playing in this area through several insightful publications, such as the Global E-Waste Monitor.

In addition, she spoke about the importance and urgency of introducing legislation that holds electronic producers accountable throughout the whole value chain of the devices they make. Moreover, Ms. Iattoni highlighted how waste prevention is paramount to dealing with this problem. For instance, she brought up the importance of integrating the informal sector in e-waste management, especially in developing countries, and the success and effectiveness of “repair cafés”, gathering where people get together to repair their used electronic devices together.

The three main takeaways of the Fireside Chat were:

  • The best e-waste is the one that does not exist: as consumers, we hold immense power in making sustainable choices that favour products with longer lifespans, better warranties, and repair-friendly designs. 
  • Data, awareness, and research are our allies: understanding the scale of the e-waste problem is the first step. Reliable data, research, and raising awareness are our allies in addressing this challenge.
  • Shared responsibility for a sustainable future: the responsibility to tackle e-waste doesn’t fall on any single entity – it’s a shared effort involving governments, producers, recyclers, and consumers.

This Fireside Chat are part of UN CC:Learn’s alumni engagement initiatives and was organized for everyone who had completed the ‘’E-Waste Prevention” e-course.

The Fireside Chats provide exclusive, direct access to the personal/professional insights of UN and other thought leaders/experts on climate change topics. They consist of short (45-60 minutes), informal interviews with engaging specialists followed by an interactive Q&A with participants able to submit questions to the experts in advance.

Fireside Chat Promotional Flyer.

Fireside Chat Promotional Flyer.

This course will help learners understand how they can tackle and prevent e-waste, opportunities for reciclying and reducing e-waste.

  • Circularity

Self-paced course

2 hours

Why take this course?

Can you imagine a world without e-waste? What will it look like? How do we achieve it? This course aims to inspire, as much as educate. It dares learners to co-create a better tomorrow through individual and joint action.

More specifically, by the end of the course learners will be able to:

  • Discuss what electronic waste is and the diverse impacts it has
  • Describe the role individuals, companies, and authorities play in reducing e-waste
  • Identify ways for consumers to support circularity, including by influencing industry players and lawmakers
  • Highlight individual and community actions to tackle and prevent e-waste.

The course at a glance

1. The State of Play: An overview of the magnitude of the e-waste problem and its impact.

2. Recycling: This Module discusses challenges, opportunities, and best practices for e-waste recycling.

3. Reuse & Repair: Module 3 focuses on approaches to preparing and reusing electronic products so that their lifespan is prolonged

4. Reduce: Ideas around achieving a zero e-waste society through social, technological, business, and political innovation.

5. Wrap-up: This section hosts the final assessment test and additional resources.

Get your Certificate

After completing the course you will get a certificate. All you need to do is complete all videos, readings and activities, as well as choose your sustainable e-waste prevention pledge before the certificate becomes automatically available to download. You can keep track of your progress and download your certificate under the “Certification” tab on the main course page.

The course will help learner understand the key concepts, opportunities and tools to enable circularity in the waste sector in South Africa.

  • Circularity

Self-paced course

2 hours

Why take this course?

The goal of the course is to raise awareness and strengthen the capacities of key stakeholders in South Africa when it comes to a circular economy. During the course, participants will learn about key concepts, opportunities and tools that can be applied to enable circularity in the waste sector.

The course at a glance

  1. Introduction to Circular Economy: The first module provides the rationale and key concepts related to circular economy. It also provides an overview of South Africa’s waste sector
  2. Opportunities for Circularity in the Waste Sector: The second module explores concrete examples and best practices for applying circularity from all over the world.
  3. Policy Approaches for Circular Economy: The third module examines how different policy tools can be used to enable circularity in South Africa.

Get your Certificate

To receive a Certificate of Completion, participants need to complet the final course assessment. To complete the test learners are allowed 3 attempts; a grade equal to or higher than 70% constitutes a passing grade. Once conditions are met, the certificate can be downloaded in the section “certification” on the main course page.

UN CC:Learn and SCYCLE partnered up to develop a brand new course on “How to Prevent E-Waste”.


Read on to find out what you can do to start addressing this growing and pressing problem.

What do you usually do with that old phone that has been replaced and doesn’t have any use for you anymore?

If you have answered “nothing”, you are not alone. Most people don’t actually properly dispose of their old phones – or any other electronic device – and instead toss them into drawers not to be used again. In the worst cases, these old devices end up in regular waste bins, mixing up with regular trash, fueling a growing environmental problem called “e-waste”.

As technology developed, e-waste has increased bringing along a range of environmental, social, and economic problems. E-waste has become the fastest growing waste stream in the world, and in 2019 alone, 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste were generated globally, and only a tiny fraction of it is being properly disposed of or recycled. The demand for more raw materials has enormous consequences for the environment, contributing to, among other things, climate change.

To help tackle this problem, UN CC:Learn partnered up with UNITAR’s Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme to develop the “How to Prevent E-Waste” e-course. This 2-hour, free and self-paced e-learning course aims to provide individuals with practical solutions to tackle the e-waste crisis. In 4 modules, learners will discover how e-waste can be a source of valuable components that can be recycled, reused, or repaired, and what they can do to support the shift from the currently linear production and consumption model towards circular economy and society.

By the end of the course, learners will be able to:

  • Discuss what electronic waste is and the diverse impacts it has
  • Describe the role individuals, companies, and authorities play in reducing e-waste
  • Identify ways for consumers to support circularity, including by influencing industry players and lawmakers
  • Highlight individual and community actions to tackle and prevent e-waste.

The course aims to inspire, as much as educate. It dares learners to co-create a better tomorrow through individual and joint action.

Upon completion of all the activities of the course, learners are awarded an official UN CC:Learn certificate.

Take the course here!

Our newly launched “Circular Economy in South Africa” e-course lays out this concept for you while providing examples of how it could bring economic progress to South Africa.

Read on to find out more about the course!

Everyone is talking about shifting to more sustainable models of production and consumption, but what does it actually mean? This question is complex and encompasses several aspects of people’s lives but there may be an answer to solve it all: a shift towards a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines circular economy as “one that is restorative and regenerative by design and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles.”

To shed light on this issue and help unpack this concept, UN CC:Learn has recently launched the Circular Economy for the Waste Sector in South Africa. The three-module course takes an average of two hours to be completed. The course has been developed in collaboration with  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with support from the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE), under the framework of the EU-funded Switch Africa Green Programme. Among other things, you will learn to:

  • Explain what a circular economy is, its main principles, objectives, and benefits
  • Identify key issues and economic opportunities in the South African waste sector
  • Describe applications of circularity in the waste sector
  • Describe the current waste management policy framework
  • Identify concrete approaches that can support the circularity transition in South Africa

The course is filled with real-life examples of how circular economy principles can be applied to different businesses. For instance, learners will find out about companies helping push circularity across different industries, like Blueland, a company providing zero-waste, sustainable cleaning tablets, and Buy Me Once, which offers lifetime guarantees to consumers, giving them the opportunity to fix their products instead of having to change them.

The course considers the challenges and opportunities for applying best practices in circularity to the waste sector in South Africa. Even in the challenging country and regional context , circular economy nonetheless provides a pathway for delivering economic growth and job creation while improving people’s health and protecting the environment.

Start learning today!

In June 2022, UN CC:Learn attended the Greentech Festival, a two-day event devoted to finding solutions for the climate crisis through green entrepreneurship and innovation. Among conferences with high-level speakers and exhibits of groundbreaking ideas, the festival showed where the corporate world is headed with regard to sustainability.


Read on to find out more!

Go green or go home! That was the message delivered by Gerd Müller, Director General at UNIDO and former Germany’s Finance Minister, at the Greentech Festival. For Mr. Müller, cooperation and green entrepreneurship are the watchwords around which the work being done by the private and public sectors should be anchored. For him – and several other personalities and keynote speakers at the festival – the tools and resources to clean up and go green are known and available, but cooperation and political will are  lagging a long way behind.

Speech by Gerd Müller at the Greentech Festival

With the motto “Together We Change the World for the Better”, the Greentech Festival, a Berlin-based, sustainability-focused event organized by former Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg, provides a platform for sustainability-driven personalities and entrepreneurs in the sustainability space to network, showcase innovations, voice their concerns and debate about the role the private sector can play in driving the much-needed shift towards greener and  carbon neutral economies.  From small entrepreneurs to  global corporations, the two-day festival (22-23 June 2022) brought together like-minded people who are dedicating their efforts to solving the environmental crisis. For UN CC:Learn the event provided an opportunity to better understand the latest buzzwords from within the industry, to showcase the importance of education and training pathways for change and to … network too! 

Many  companies  now understand the importance of education of the workforce and supply chains as a way of changing mindsets and driving action at all levels of business.  But there was clearly more of a sense of delight in much more tangible things that can be done be it through the design of new products – such as “biocarbons”, which are high-quality materials with different types of use that are made through innovative processes that take out CO2 from the atmosphere – or systems and procedures. In a discussion hosted by Lufthansa for example participants thought that airlines should give priority treatment not to those with the most airmiles but rather those who offset the GHG emissions the most. What a visible and direct way this could send the message to consumers that things are changing. 

Day 2 closing debate at the Greentech Festival with Nico Rosberg and the CEOs of E.ON and Austrian Airlines.

Day 2 included an excellent series of bootcamps on  “Green Leadership, Goal Setting and Aligning Company Values”. These were highly interactive, engaging and expertly lead opportunities to get to grips with very practical challenges being faced by companies; such as how to ensure that offsetting is meaningful;  how car companies can communicate more effectively with consumers (in particular the under 35); and what the airline industry can to go net zero. For UN CC:Learn these bootcamps served to further demonstrate how important education is as a pathway towards  sustainable solutions. 

All of this said, there was still very much as sense that the future is still about developing and selling products, albeit products with a much lower carbon footprint. The ability of the earth’s systems to deliver on such a future was less in evidence in either the number or the discussion. For some it appears obvious that more and more products cannot be the way forward. 

Presentation at the GreenTech Festival

UN CC:Learn is looking to work with the conference organisers to identify a possible role in promoting education, training and awareness. The GreenTech Festival  is also hosting events in London and Singapore, as well as New York in the future. UN CC:Learn is very grateful for the support of the Nico Rosberg Family for their support in facilitating our participation. 

The Day May Break Photo Exhibit at the Greenwich Festival

Sustainable development in the African continent faces challenges related to consumption and production. This course introduces participants to key sectors, such as energy and agriculture, as well as policies and international frameworks to foster more sustainable consumption and production patterns.


“The course is incredible, I will certainly recommend it to my closest friends!” – Learners from Mauritius

  • Circularity

Self-paced course

6 hours


In this course, we will go on a journey to Africa and and discuss what are the challenges and outlooks for sustainable development on the continent. The course introduces you to the key approaches, policies and international frameworks that aim to unlock more sustainable patterns of consumption and production (SCP).

We will cover a number of aspects and various thematic areas: from energy efficiency – to climate-smart agriculture, from SCP tools, policies and international agreements – to behavioral change of individuals.

Our path consists of five modules, each divided into several lessons. For more information on the course structure, methodology, learning objectives and completion requirements, please download the course syllabus. If you encounter any technical difficulty or if you have any questions, please consult our help page.

What you will learn

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define the concept of SCP and explain its value for Africa and globally
  • Distinguish key elements of effective policies for SCP
  • Discuss how can SCP be advanced in specific sectors and areas
  • Explain the role of consumers and individual choices for SCP
  • Identify global and regional initiatives that promote SCP

The course at a glance

  • Module 1: Introduction to SCP: Definition, Rationale and Fundamentals
  • Module 2: Designing and Implementing National SCP Policies and Action Plans
  • Module 3: Applying Policies for Sustainable Production: Addressing the Supply Side
  • Module 4: Applying Policies for Sustainable Consumption: Addressing the Demand Side
  • Module 5: International and Regional Collaboration to Achieve SCP

Patrick Mwesigye. Regional Coordinator, Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), Regional Office for Africa, UN Environment

Alice Kaudia. Co-Founder and Executive Director, Eco entrepreneurs Ltd., Former Environment Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities, KENYA, and Co-Chair: Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP)

Jane Nyakang’o. Director, Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre (KNCPC) and President, African Round Table on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ARSCP)

Charles Arden-Clarke. Head, 10YFP Secretariat, Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch, UN Environment

Dirk Wagener. Coordinator, Resource Efficiency & Sustainable Consumption and Production, UN Environment


The course is adapted for adults and particularly suitable for anyone working (or interested in working) in the field of sustainability, climate change, resource efficiency, rural or urban development, community engagement, policy development, training and capacity development, or international cooperation.

Participants are provided with the opportunity to learn through various experiences: absorb (read and watch); interact (lessons), and reflect (quizzes and exercises).

To successfully complete the course and gain a certificate of completion, participants have to obtain a passing grade of 70% or above on all 5 assessment quizzes (3 attempts are allowed for each quiz).


Special thanks to the UN Environment and the SWITCH Africa Green project, funded by the European Parliament, for supporting the development and delivery of this course.