The adoption of the Paris Agreement during the Committee of Parties, COP 15, in 2015 marked a significant milestone in the urgent need to adopt universal actions against climate change. The agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursue the 1.5 degrees ideal limit.
The COP summits which attract delegations led by heads of state and government from countries all over the world, have become major universal convergences second only to the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA. This underscores the growing importance attached to climate change, whose extreme impacts manifest in the form of violent storms, torrential downpours, floods, erosions, wildfires, deforestation, melting ice shelves, desertification, coastland recession and others.
The COP not only helps to raise awareness and take steps towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions, it also helps to mobilise finance to fight the scourge. Developed countries which are chiefly responsible for the carbon emission overdrive due to massive industrialisation, mobilise funds to enable low-carbon countries help with the efforts to adopt the mitigation and adaptation measures agreed at the COP summits.
We commend the Kwara State Government for its decision to introduce climate education in its schools. This was announced by a member of the state’s delegation to the COP28 recently held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Dr Adetola Salau, an aide of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, unveiled the plan on behalf of his principal.
This is an idea that should be shared by all countries across the world. In most countries, climate studies come under a generic subject like geography. A subject that concerns the sustainability of life on the planet earth should not be randomly picked at. All hands have to be on deck across the world.
The future generation of leaders should start knowing about factors that shape the fate of the earth’s resources, right from their earliest years in educational pursuit. With this awareness, they can begin playing their roles from that age and grow with same as part of universal culture.
To shape the consciousness of tomorrow’s leaders, it is vital to adjust school curriculums to accommodate climate and environmental awareness. This can also be done by incorporating interdisciplinary lessons that integrate science, social studies and ethics, among other subjects.
The youth should be engaged in pet environmental projects such as tree planting and personal nurturing and other community initiatives to strengthen their connection to the environment.
The fight to save the planet and make it a liveable place for the current and future generations should not only be conducted “in the clouds”. It should be brought “down to earth” where the children, youth and other members of the community will be part and parcel of it.
For the planet to continue to take care of us, we must take care of it.