DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, is making a significant impact at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. Continuing its legacy from previous COP engagements, the British Council is set to demonstrate its global approach to climate action, leveraging its strengths in arts, culture, and education.
At COP28, the British Council is highlighting its commitment to climate action through various impactful initiatives. The Climate Skills programme, a global partnership programme, focuses on developing green skills among 12,000 youths over the next three years in key countries to showcase the Council’s commitment to quality education and skill-building in response to climate challenges. Additionally, the Creative Commissions blend arts and science to foster innovative climate solutions, stimulating dialogue and collaboration between the UK and international communities, such as supporting curators and artists to engage over 600,000 people through creative responses and exhibitions on the climate crisis.
Aida Salamanca, Country Director (UAE) of the British Council, said, “In hosting COP28, the UAE provides a unique platform for global climate discussions. The British Council is proud to contribute to this dialogue, bringing together diverse voices from around the world. Our initiatives, particularly in empowering the youth through Arts, Culture, and Education, align with the vision for a sustainable future, highlighting the role of international cooperation in addressing global climate challenges.”
As well, the British Council and Art Jameel co-hosted a culture and climate summit in Dubai in March 2023, uniting cultural leaders and policymakers from the MENA region and the UK. The summit focused on the cultural sector’s role in climate crisis response, producing a post-summit report and toolkit. The collaboration continues with “Anhar: Culture and Climate Platform,” launched in September 2023, to foster Creative Commissions in the MENA region.
List of activities the British Council is leading during COP28:
- Global MOOC during COP28: Collaborating with the University of Edinburgh, offering a course sharing insights into the challenges discussed at COP28, with contributions from the British Council’s activities.
- Climate Research and Publications: Highlighting and launching key research on topics like global priorities for school-based climate education and climate change impacts on cultural heritage, including a study by University College London (UCL) commissioned by the British Council on effective strategies for training teachers to deliver climate change education.- This research emphasises the importance of international collaboration in climate education and focuses on addressing climate, environmental, and biodiversity crises through girls’ education.
- Artistic and Cultural Responses to Climate Change: The British Council is actively supporting the arts and culture sectors in developing responses to climate change. This includes showcasing an array of Creative Commissions at COP28. Notable among these is the film “Mother Earth International, Better Late Than Never,” a dance film that addresses the climate and ecological crisis. Additionally, the project “From Ink to Action” will be featured, highlighting a collaboration of 12 talented artists from the MENA region who use comic art to address pressing climate issues.
- Sessions and Workshops: Hosting and participating in various sessions and workshops during COP28, focusing on themes like education for a green economy, climate literacy, and protecting natural heritage from climate threats.
- Engagement and Advocacy in Climate Education: Working on initiatives to integrate climate change education into school curriculums and teacher training programs.
A crucial element of the British Council’s COP28 engagement is the Cultural Protection Fund, which preserves heritage at risk from climate change and mitigates its effects on valued cultural heritage worldwide. Since 2016, the Council has awarded £50 million in funding to 149 projects in 16 countries. Notable projects include safeguarding the intangible heritage of pastoralist communities in Sudan, protecting medieval Islamic monuments in Egypt, and preserving endangered inland watercraft heritage in southern Iraq.
In addition to its programmatic efforts, the British Council is committed to environmental responsibility, aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. This goal is part of the Council’s broader strategy to integrate sustainable practices across its operations globally.
The British Council invites individuals and organisations to engage with its COP28 activities, either by participating in events or following updates online. For more details, visit https://www.britishcouncil.org/climate-connection-cop28.
About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2022–23 we reached 600 million people.
About Climate Connection
The Climate Connection programme brings people around the world together to meet the challenges of climate change. Through arts and culture, education and the English language, it is about ideas, innovation and real change.