Press Release

UNU-IAS Initiatives on Youth Empowerment for Implementing the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda

UNU-IAS will hold a press conference at COP27 to present updates on the institute’s initiatives on youth empowerment.

UNU-IAS will organise a press conference at the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27) on 11 November 2022, presenting updates on the institute's activities related to youth empowerment for climate action and sustainable development.

Media Advisory

Date & time: 11 November 2022, 11:00–11:30 EET (18:00–18:30 JST)

Venue: Press Conference Room "Cairo" (COP27 Area E), Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Webcast link

Speakers: Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS), Akio Takemoto (Programme Head, UNU-IAS), Suneetha Subramanian (Research Fellow, UNU-IAS), Juan Pastor-Ivars (Research Associate, UNU-IAS)

To meet the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, there is an urgent need to empower youth as change agents and future leaders. Harnessing education and research will be essential to advance the transformative climate action that is needed across every sector in every country.

In this press conference at COP27, climate, biodiversity, and education experts from the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) will call for strengthening youth empowerment and better synergised action to accelerate progress on these interlinked global agendas. They will present the institute’s new postgraduate degree specialisation on the Paris Agreement, to be delivered from Autumn 2023, and share other innovative approaches, practices, and initiatives.

UNU-IAS Postgraduate Degree Specialisation on the Paris Agreement

These new master’s and doctoral degrees will be the first of their kind to be offered by a UN organisation. They will educate students and experts from across the globe, developing skills and knowledge to play a leading role in implementing the Paris Agreement. The degrees will provide valuable opportunities for students to gain knowledge and skills for implementing the Paris Agreement in alignment with the SDGs at the national and global levels.

The curriculum will include coursework, practicum training, and dissertations supervised by instructors with extensive climate expertise. The coursework will focus on the implementation mechanisms of the Paris Agreement, such as the enhanced transparency framework, nationally determined contributions, national adaptation planning process, integrated assessment models, and credit market mechanism. The practicum courses will comprise short-term capacity building training and a longer-term internship programme, to be jointly organised with global partners including governments, research institutes, and international organisations.

The specialisation will provide learning opportunities on synergies between the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It will mobilise the interdisciplinary knowledge and networks of UNU-IAS in areas such as nature-based solutions, biodiversity and ecosystem restoration through the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, as well as water and resource management.

UNU-IAS plans to invite applications from prospective students by the end of 2022. The course is scheduled to launch in the Academic Year 2023–2024, which starts in September 2023. UNU IAS is seeking cooperation from existing and new partners through financial and in-kind contributions to develop and enhance this new specialisation.

UNU-IAS Initiatives for Youth Empowerment

UNU-IAS is advancing youth empowerment for sustainability through a range of innovative activities in collaboration with partners across the globe. The institute leads a global network of over 170 Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs), each of which operates as a platform for local multi-stakeholder collaboration. Through education and training the network mobilises action to develop solutions that contribute towards achieving sustainable societies. These include climate education projects and biodiversity education projects that have been showcased in recent publications. The network promotes youth empowerment through events and the RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge, launched in 2021, which engages youth to create artworks that inspire climate action. The global network of RCEs also provides a rich base of knowledge and solutions that UNU-IAS has been synthesising in contributions to high-level policy dialogue on education, including the ESD for 2030 agenda and the Transforming Education Summit that was convened during the UN General Assembly in September 2022.

The institute has also been developing a model for localising sustainability agendas by engaging youth and other community stakeholders in Kanazawa, Japan. The UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa / Kanazawa (OUIK) works closely with local municipalities, businesses, and educational institutions to advance efforts on sustainable development, climate change, and biodiversity in the region. Through a local platform for public–private partnership, IMAGINE KANAZAWA 2030, the unit has helped to produce an SDGs action plan for the city and is developing local SDGs indicators. This collaboration contributed to the selection of Kanazawa City in 2020 as an “SDGs Future City” by the Government of Japan. The SDGs Café event series, organised by UNU-IAS in Kanazawa, has been actively engaging the local community on topics including public transport, energy, sustainable investment, sports, and employment of persons with disabilities. The success of this event format has led to its adoption by other municipalities in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.


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