An insufficient allocation of resources to climate change education has drawn the ire of Education International during a recent contribution to the Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment, Education.
Education International (EI) raised its concerns about investment in climate change education during a panel discussion on 16 May at the fifth Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment held in Bonn, Germany. The panel discussion focused on the financial resources for climate change education and came at the end of the first session on climate change education.
Three major funding mechanisms were presented: the Global Environment Facility, the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund. Although these mechanisms fund education and training activities, none of them is dedicated specifically to climate change.
Climate change raises urgent issues relating around adaptation for countries in the short and medium terms. However, this adaptation requires that current and future climate change be considered in current decisions and policy implementations in order to limit its negative impact. The costs relating to this adaptation are already estimated at several dozen billion dollars (USD) every year, and developing countries are particularly exposed in this regard.
EI: Need for long-term investment
Therefore, EI regrets that climate change education, which is seen as a long-term investment, is not considered a priority.
During the discussion, EI reaffirmed its stance that the economic, social and environmental benefits accruing from properly resourced and prioritised quality education, including climate change education, would largely compensate for the costs linked to often ill-advised political and economic decisions. Major net financial gains would be made, according to EI.
Over the years, the Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment, which brings together representatives of government and civil society, has become a crucial venue for international talks on climate change. It is a place where information on all aspects of climate change education and training is gathered and exchanged. Although the importance of education was acknowledged early in discussions on climate change and re-emphasised at several key moments, such as the recent signing of the Paris Agreement of 2015, EI believes that the resources allocated to education remain insufficient.