In a joint statement on International Youth Day, the COP28 presidency has teamed with Coursera, a worldwide online learning platform, to distribute 5,000 free licences for curated climate-focused online courses and credential programmes. In keeping with COP28’s commitment to inclusion as the foundation of its presidency, this collaboration will enable young people to engage in climate decision-making through education and capacity-building opportunities.
As part of this initiative, over 100 courses cover topics essential for climate literacy across mitigation, adaption, finance, and loss and damage. The distribution of these licenses will be facilitated through UNFCCC constituencies, the University Climate Network comprising 24 UAE-based universities and higher education institutions, and various youth activist groups.
Speaking about the development, Minister of Community Development and COP28 Youth Climate Champion, Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, said:
Young people have repeatedly raised that capacity building is a key priority for their meaningful participation during our global youth consultations. This partnership responds to that identified need. COP28 and Coursera’s collaboration on climate education demonstrates our commitment to empowering the younger generation and fostering their active involvement in tackling the global climate crisis.
The Youth Climate Champion is a new role introduced by the COP28 presidency, aimed at mainstreaming youth participation and voice in the COP process while mobilizing substantive youth policy inputs and outcomes. As part of the COP28 two-week thematic programme, 8 December is dedicated to ‘Youth, Children, Education and Skills’. The day will highlight the importance of providing children and youth with clear, defined, and accessible chances to participate in climate solutions offered at all levels.
Chief Executive Officer of Coursera, Jeff Maggioncalda, added:
Coursera is honoured to partner with COP28 in the fight against climate change. Through education, we aim to empower thousands of young people to learn about climate issues and play a role in shaping sustainable solutions. This partnership reflects our commitment to making climate literacy accessible to all and nurturing a generation that will lead us toward a sustainable future.
The Youth Climate Champion’s strategy for youth climate engagement is centred on four pillars:
- Enhancing participation, inclusion and representation of youth in climate processes.
- Empowering youth’s capacity to contribute to decision-making through education opportunities.
- Amplifying the voices and proposals of children and spurring more excellent youth-led climate action.
Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng founded Coursera in 2012 to provide life-changing learning experiences to learners worldwide. The company is a global online learning and professional development platform that gives anybody, anywhere, access to online courses and degrees from premier institutions and corporations. It collaborates with over 275 premier universities and corporations to provide individuals and organizations worldwide with flexible, affordable, job-relevant online learning. The platform offers many learning options, including hands-on projects, courses, job-ready credentials, and degree programmes.