Did you go to COP 23? Me neither – and I missed COPs 1 to 22 as well. Black UN marks all round, I fear, and I'll not be invited to the December multi-faith Festival party again this year.
The news that "Education and Education for Sustainable Development, both formal and non-formal", were given an entire day in the COP says a lot about the bloated nature of this recurring jamboree.
This was the UNESCO (with UN partners and other organisations) plan for the day:
• 10:00-10:45, Press Conference to open the Education Day and to launch a compilation of Case studies on climate change education for mitigation and adaptation by the Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), India, UNESCO and UNFCCC.
• 11:30-13:00, The COP Presidency, UNFCCC and UNESCO organise a "high-level" debate [**] on Education and global partnerships working to combat climate change. This event will bring together environment and education ministers and international organizations to discuss how education and global partnerships can enhance the implementation of climate agendas. Invited panelists include the President of Fiji; HRH Princess Lalla Hasna from Morocco, UNFCCC Secretary General; UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences and Ministers of Education and Environment (ADGNSMEE).
• 13:15-14:45, UNAACE [The UN Alliance on Action for Climate Empowerment] will organize a side event on Partnerships as key to changing minds and actions in order to scale-up adaptation and mitigation (CCA&M). The side event will demonstrate the tangible contribution that learning and skills development is already making to climate change adaptation and mitigation and present new types of partnerships needed to engage a critical mass of children, youth, professionals, decision-makers and society as a whole in climate action.
• 10:00–18:00, UNESCO organizes several discussion rounds including on schools climate readiness, teacher education for climate change, youth leadership and greening TVET at a dedicate UNESCO pavilion. These will be animated by UNESCO and GAP Key partners, experts, practitioners and youth representatives from around the world.
• 10:00–17:00, UNESCO, UNITAR and UNEP support the UN exhibition booth for SDG 4.
It's a fair conclusion that none of this contributes anything positive (now or in the future) to combating climate change, and not one microgram of carbon will have been saved. I almost feel sorry for UNESCO – but not quite.
Why are UNESCO debates always "high level"? And why do they always have to include a princess? I'm beginning to understand why I'm never invited ...