Although the challenge of climate change is universal, the ability to effectively mitigate climate change and cope with its effects is not. Many of the world’s developing countries have seriously limited capacities to plan and implement adequate climate policies and actions, and these countries “cannot mitigate or adapt to climate change without first having the capacity to do so.”1 Implementation of the Paris Agreement will require concerted action in all parts of the world, and Article 11 accordingly provides for enhanced capacity building to ensure that all countries have the necessary skills and knowledge to implement their nationally determined contributions, enhance the ambition of their commitments in coming years, and comply with monitoring and reporting requirements.
Universities are centers of learning and innovation that can play a critical role in building lasting climate-related capacities around the world. Many researchers, educators, and students are already deeply involved in producing, communicating, and learning climate knowledge and skills. Identifying and publicizing effective university programs, networking across institutions, countries and disciplines, designing new research programs, and expanding access to educational resources and opportunities will aid the cause of mitigating climate change and will allow creation of more resilient societies and ecosystems.
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