The Climate Connection supported a successful COP27, by showcasing the impact of the arts, education and English on the climate challenge and by providing opportunities for people – and young people in particular – to participate in meaningful dialogue and action.
At the conference Blue Zone, we organised and participated in a rich calendar of sessions and events to bring the arts, education and English to the forefront of the climate conversation, including:
- hosting a roundtable discussion with British Council climate youth activists and the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Cleverly (see the highlights)
- hosting a panel session on the role of young people in delivering the Glasgow Climate Pact, chaired by COP26 President Alok Sharma (see the highlights)
- moderating a UNICEF panel discussion on climate change education and how to inspire young Egyptians to take climate action, with a panel featuring Egyptian ministers and the FCDO Director General (see the highlights)
- co-hosting a session with the Department for Education and SoS UK to showcase the UK’s climate education policy (see the highlights)
- running a dedicated Climate Connection booth, showcasing our creative solutions for climate action and the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund (see the highlights)
- having the co-authored outcomes of our UK-Egypt health policy briefing presented by the lead of the UK Universities Climate Network
- presenting a gender case study from the British Council in Nepal, as part of our gender responsive implementation
- contributing to a discussion on how youth are setting the climate agenda (see the highlights)
- highlighting the importance of arts in raising awareness around the climate challenge by screening the live performance of The Earth Turns Creative Commission, by Exeter University and the American University in Cario, featuring 12 Climate Stories for 12 Days of COP27.
Contributing to key conversatons on many inspiring climate topics, including:
- the impact of climate change on girls, hosted by Plan International (see the highlights)
- the climate resilience of workplaces in Egypt, organised by the RLCC, the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering and the American University in Cairo (see the highlights)
- climate resilience and adaptation at cultural heritage sites, hosted by the International National Trusts Organisation (see the highlights)
- how the arts and culture are mobilising around the climate crisis, organised by Julie’s Bicycle (see the highlights).
The conference Green Zone was an opportunity to showcase many of our creative responses to climate change through live performances and interactive experiences, including:
- showcasing a selection of our Creative Commissions, including Tales of Care and Repair, Songs of the Earth, and 10 Years to Save the World, through film screenings, displays and a VR experience
- a performance of The Earth Turns Creative Commission live on the conference's Big Stage
- a special live episode of the AskHala series featuring climate and ELT experts, as part of the Climate Action in your English Classroom project (see the highlights)
- contributing to a session on the outcomes of the COP27 Simulation Model, delivered by UNDP, in collaboration with the British University in Egypt.
Across Cairo and beyond
Across Cairo – and beyond – we engaged students and members of the public in events and activities to strengthen climate awareness, including:
- a live performance of The Earth Turns Creative Commission, hosted at the Falaki Theatre (see the highlights)
- partnering with the Climate Youth Negotiators programme to deliver COP27 simulation training to young people at the University of Heliopolis (see the highlights)
- launching the Our Broken Planet Creative Commission at the opening of Cairo’s Child Museum; this collaborative project is a partnership between the Child Museum and UK’s Natural History Museum (see the highlights)
- hosting live COP27 climate simulation events in Egypt, Northern Ireland and England, where school students took the role of politicians, lobbyists and journalists to negotiate a climate deal (see the highlights).
In the lead-up to COP27, hundreds of young climate activists gathered in Sharm El Sheikh for COY17, the 17th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth, culminating the in the Global Youth Statement: Declaration for Climate Justice.
As part of our support for YOUNGO, the Official Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC, we led a key session at COY17, bringing together the voices of young, vibrant local and international climate activists ahead of COP27 to present their locally led solutions for climate action (see the highlights).
Our work during COP27 is supported by a range of wider Climate Connection activities across Egypt.
We’re putting young people and women at the centre of the climate conversation through our new Youth Voices programme and climate and gender grants . We're also gathering the voices of many of our inspiring participants and partners working on climate solutions across Egypt, through our Voices 4 Climate campaign.
We’re supporting 15 new partnerships between UK and Egyptian universities to work on climate issues. Meanwhile, our policy workshops on health and food and agriculture, in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and the UK Universities Climate Network, bought together scientists from the UK and Egypt to produce key insights for policymakers in the lead up to COP27.
In collaboration with UNICEF, we have trained the semi-finalists of the Youth Challenge competition of Egypt as well as around 200 master facilitators with our social enterprise material. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Technical Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, 44 students from 22 international and official schools from Egypt and the UK also came together to be part of the World Climate Simulation for Schools event, where they undertook a role-playing exercise simulating the UN climate change negotiations.
Our Climate Action for Language Education materials have so far been accessed by more than 10,000 teachers across Egypt, while a further 400 teacher educators have enrolled in our online course for embedding climate topics in the classroom. Meanwhile, our One Million Climate Ambassadors project, delivered in partnership with Ain Shams University, is aiming to reach climate ambassadors across Africa through cascaded English language training.
Our seven new UK-Egypt Creative Commissions are exploring climate change through the arts, science and digital technology, and aim to stimulate conversations and connections between the UK and Egypt by bringing people, cultures and communities together to understand each other’s perspectives and collaborate on creative climate responses and solutions.