On December 3, 2018, the UK Pavilion hosted a work shop to provide a space for capacity-building (CB) experts, academics, and stakeholders to get together and discuss the future of CB knowledge sharing. Under the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB), knowledge sharing methods typically consisted of the utilization of knowledge databases by Parties and in-depth discussions between Parties and CB experts. The Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) has done excellent work on creating and updating the NDC Partnership Knowledge Portal; however, this left a question as to how a Party may not only benefit from taking knowledge from others, but to use this knowledge to create a lasting effect. UNDP held concerns that capacity-building efforts have often come into a country and left after the issue at hand was resolved. This may cause a Party to continually rely on outside help to fix their capacity gap needs, which is an unsustainable method to actualize every Parties’ NDCs. Therefore, UNDP stressed the need for CB to be generated and sustained from within the Party so that there is a growth of domestic climate experts. This is extremely important to ensure that the Party is able to empower its own leadership on climate change issues and not continually rely on outside help. During COP22, representatives from more than twenty-five universities met and sparked discussion about the role of universities in implementing Article 11 of the Paris Agreement and to provide the missing support for PCCB. As a result, the Universities Network on Climate Capacity (UNCC) was created.
Universities are centers of learning and innovation that may build long-lasting capacities. By sharing knowledge across universities, a country may utilize that knowledge to expand educational resources and opportunities to create a sustainable effort to combat climate change. Using a network of universities specializing in climate change, the UNCC hopes to “develop and implement research, education, training and climate communication capacity-building programmes that promote long term climate change response actions at local, national and international levels.”
Vermont Law School is one of the early members of the UNCC, and Professor Tracy Bach is a member of its Steering Committee. Officially involved in COP events and reports since COP23, the UNCC is a brand new organization and welcomes interested parties. Universities are highly encouraged to become members of UNCC and join this revolutionary network. Moving forward, the UNCC plans to develop a work plan to educate and improve the capacities of countries all over the world.