On Thursday, 3 June 2021, the British Council will announce the launch of a new global campaign to address the climate emergency in the lead up to the COP26 summit in November.
The Climate Connection campaign will bring together people from around the world to share their ideas and perspectives on climate change, and to look for solutions using education, art and culture, and science. It will offer global conversations, art and science showcases, university scholarships, funding, research, and training opportunities.
The UK will host the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland from 1 to 12 November. The British Council is supporting the UK government’s ambition for COP26 to be the most inclusive ever by using its global networks to inspire millions of people around the world to take action against climate change.
A British Council survey of almost 40,000 young people aged 18-34 across 36 countries, including the G20 countries, found that climate change is perceived by them to be the most important issue facing the world today. And in Viet Nam, according to the recent Next Generation Viet Nam report, seven in ten of those surveyed (69 per cent) wish to contribute to Viet Nam’s future through environmental affairs and about one in nine (14 per cent) rank climate change among their top five priorities.
The Climate Connection, which launches in the week leading to World Environment Day on 5 June and runs until the COP26 summit in November, includes the following initiatives:
• 17 Creative Commissions bringing together people from the UK and 28 countries to explore climate change through art, science and digital technology. These creative projects address issues such as climate migration, plastic pollution, coastal erosion, deforestation, biodiversity, landscape, air pollution, wildfire and melting glaciers.
• Green Careers, supporting young people to build successful careers that help the planet, through advice on education opportunities and routes into green jobs.
• On 3 June, 15:00 – 16:30 (Viet Nam time) the British Council will host The Climate Connection: Conversation for Change, a free online event exploring the climate emergency. Speakers include COP26 president, Alok Sharma, and author and activist, Neil Gaiman. To register, please follow this link.
Some initiatives and programmes in Viet Nam include:
• Rivers of Life, supporting ten social action projects on climate change and the impact of climate change in the Mekong Delta. These projects are implemented by a network of youth leaders who are supported and guided by scientists, artists and communications experts using an integrated approach of education, arts and science.
• Microgrant ‘Youth for climate actions’, launched in November 2020, the microgrant received 80 project proposals, from which six innovative projects were selected for grants to respond to climate change and create social impact, delivering practical solutions for communities, encompassing rural and remote areas as well as big cities and provinces.
• Climate action in language education, a professional development training series for teachers designed to train English language teachers how to integrate environmental issues into English language teaching.
• COP26 Trilateral Research Initiative supporting international joint research among Can Tho University (Viet Nam), University of Southampton (UK), Kyoto University (Japan) and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) for Integrated Strategies for Water Resources Risk Management in the ASEAN Region Under Climate Uncertainty.
• Researcher Link Climate Challenge grants providing financial support for a collaboration between the British Geological Survey and the Viet Nam Institute of Geo-sciences and Mineral Resources with the project Community integration with weather-related hazard adaption and mitigation in Vietnam (see more here).
Welcoming the idea of the Rivers of Life, one of the initiatives of the British Council in Viet Nam providing a platform for a joined-up youth-focused activity targeting the south of the country given the increasing severity of climate impacts there, Mr. Huynh Thanh Hung - Deputy Director of the Department of Education and Training of Dong Thap province shared: 'This is a very meaningful project for the Mekong Delta and for Dong Thap in particular, home of part of the Tien river. The project will help teachers and students in Dong Thap enhance and raise awareness about the impact of climate change on the river, which is vital to people’s lives.’
Kate Ewart-Biggs, British Council Interim Chief Executive, said: ‘The British Council is proud to support COP26’s aims to unite people around the world to tackle climate change. Through our Climate Connection campaign, we will draw on our expertise in education, the arts, and cultural exchange, to support people everywhere to find innovative solutions to the biggest global emergency we face.’
To learn more about The Climate Connection programme and campaign, please visit: https://www.britishcouncil.org/climate-connection
To learn more about The Climate Connection programme in Vietnam, please visit: https://www.britishcouncil.vn/en/programmes/climate-connection