The starting point for addressing climate change is to understand its causes, its immediate and future impacts on our lives and livelihoods, and necessary actions at the individual, local, national, regional and international levels to mitigate climate change and adapt to its adverse effects. As climate change action always starts at the individual level, it is crucial to build the capacity of individuals through climate change education and training, but also to create public awareness on climate change and enable the public to access information on and participate in climate change decision-making. Equally important, capacities of education and training institutions in Member States need to be strengthened to support action in this area.
As climate change increasingly impacts development and security issues, a growing number of UN organizations work closely with Parties to carry out various activities on climate change education, training and public awareness, public participation and public access to information. In this context the United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness is being launched as an innovative coordination mechanism for action on, and the joint mobilization of support for, the work programme under Article 6 of the Convention. The Alliance will maximize synergies among diverse UN organizations and support the efficient use of expertise and available resources.
At this side event the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat together with senior representatives of the other founding members launches the United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness. High-level representatives from Parties and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) highlight examples of successful cooperation with founding members on climate change education and public awareness activities. The Alliance’s objectives are presented and its founding members, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UNFCCC, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showcase how they will provide support to and benefit of this new interagency cooperation. Participants are invited to share their views on the Alliance’s draft framework for action and contribute to its further development.