UNITED NATIONS, United States, July 11, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Thousands of
universities around the world on Wednesday declared a “climate emergency” and
committed themselves with the United Nations to fighting climate change, in
an effort to mobilize their students.
In a letter, the representatives of more than 7,000 educational
institutions on six continents promised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030,
or 2050 at the latest.
They also pledged more resources for “action-oriented” climate change
research and skills development, and to develop environmental education both
on campus and through outreach programs.
“What we teach is shaping the future,” said Inger Andersen, director of the
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), in a statement welcoming the
initiative, which was presented at a ministerial meeting at the headquarters
of the United Nations in New York.
“Young people are increasingly at the forefront of calls for more action on
climate and environmental challenges, and initiatives directly involving
young people in this critical work are a valuable contribution,” she added.
The initiative leaders — which include Strathmore University in Kenya,
Tongji University in China, France’s KEDGE Business School, Glasgow
University, California State University, Zayed University in the United Arab
Emirates and Mexico’s University of Guadalajara — hope to have more than
10,000 academic institutions signed and committed to the plan by the end of