Climate change education and participation: from mainstreaming to negotiating the matter!

Education Day is a great opportunity for all actors to exchange information on best practices and to define the next steps to enhance partnerships for climate education.
Climate education is not just a Bonn Zone topic. It is also something to be found in the Bula zone. As education is highlighted in the Paris Agreement under Article 12, along with training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation. To discuss these elements, the Action for Climate Empowerment group (ACE) was created in 2015, and meets every year during COPs and SBs and works to enhance education on climate change and on the five other elements.
This year, the informal consultation group on ACE, focal points, and observers met several times to develop conclusions, which were presented in front of parties during the SBI’s closing plenary.
ACE has now been officially recognised as part of the UNFCCC negotiations due to the 6 elements of ACE being formally recognised as fundamental to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. ECO is pleased that both parties and observers can provide submissions.
ECO is already brainstorming. These submissions should include topics that will feed the next workshop at the SB meeting in April/May 2018. Actions that ECO supports include: implementing climate education and public participation in NDC implementation and planning; highlighting the importance of civil society engagement for achieving successful policy outcomes; and increasing linkages between ACE and similar work by UNESCO on climate change education for sustainable education. Also, ACE could consider life-long learning and what the different target groups might be that could benefit from climate education, as this is not just for the young. We are inviting parties and focal points to make their submissions early to ensure that solutions identified can feed into the development of a strong ACE agenda in 2018. Multiple submissions with different solutions can help negotiators develop a list of concrete actions to enhance the Paris Agreement’s implementation through ACE activities.
We look forward to seeing concrete actions for climate education and public participation coming from the Bula Zone as an addition to the discussions in the Bonn Zone. The exchange during Education Day between delegates and non-party stakeholders is more than welcome, but the outcomes of these discussions are still not reflecting the priorities and solutions outlined by non-party stakeholders. ECO encourages observers to take advantage of this opportunity to present ideas and concrete proposals for climate education and enhanced participation. Mark your calendars with the deadline and submit your ideas early on!

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