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Nigeria, other global higher institutions declare climate emergency

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Yesterday, networks, representing more than 7,000 higher and further education institutions from six continents, announced that they are declaring a climate emergency, and agreed to undertake a three-point plan to address the crisis through their work with students.

The three-point plan includes committing to going carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the very latest; mobilising more resources for action-oriented climate change research and skills creation; and increasing the delivery of environmental and sustainability education across curricula, campus and community outreach programmes.

“What we teach shapes the future. We welcome this commitments from universities to go climate neutral by 2030 and to scale-up their efforts on campus,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme, adding: “Young people are increasingly at the forefront of calls for more action on climate and environmental challenges.”

Initiatives which directly involve the youth in this critical work are a valuable contribution to achieving environmental sustainability,” she added.

A Director for Students Organising for Sustainability, Charlotte Bonner, who spoke in support of the action, said: “Young people around the world feel that schools, colleges and universities have been too slow to react to the crisis that is now bearing down on us.

“We welcome the news that they are declaring a climate emergency, we have no time to lose. We will be calling on those who haven’t yet supported this initiative to come on board. Of course, the most important element is the action that follows.”

The expectation is that over 10,000 institutions of higher and further education will come on board before the end of 2019, with governments invited to support their leadership with incentives to take action.


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