Climate action is a key HE mandate and in need of funding

As the Sharm el-Sheikh climate summit, COP27, unfolds, the higher education community are grasping the opportunity to put some of their demands on the conference table in Egypt, including calls to strengthen educational and research capacities of universities and research centres to tackle the impact of climate change.

Dr Jackline Nyerere, a senior lecturer of educational leadership and policy, co-investigator for a project focusing on transforming universities for a changing climate, and the leader of the Green Education Hub at Kenyatta University, Kenya, told University Word News: “COP27 presents an opportunity for the African continent’s higher education institutions to highlight its climate action efforts, and to communicate the urgent need for the development of locally led mitigations and adaptation solutions supported by research and evidence.”

“COP27 will also provide a platform for African higher education institutions to lobby global leaders for financial support for their role in research, training and community engagement activities,” Nyerere added.

Expanding further, Professor Adipala Ekwamu, the outgoing executive secretary of the Uganda-based Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), told University World that News that having COP27 in Egypt was a unique opportunity for the African higher education sector to mobilise commitments and action to transform universities to tackle climate change.

“COP27 puts Egyptian and African universities in the spotlight of climate change action and research as well as facilitates dialogue with the policymakers in Africa and world leaders to prioritise climate change actions,” he said.

“African universities should be able to showcase the need for climate change adaptation and financing, especially for technical support in agriculture, tourism and energy,” he added.

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