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In November 2022 the United Nations will convene the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in South Sinai, Egypt. The outcomes of COP26 were unsettling: while there was considerable enthusiasm and urgency, concrete commitments were largely postponed to 2022. Pundits have warned that we must halve emissions by 2030, and again by 2040, and aim for neutrality by 2050. While we are still within the window of making that happen, it is narrowing quickly and will require swift action far beyond government commitments.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Innovations Initiative is leading the next iteration of the Global University Climate Forum in collaboration with the International Sustainable Campus Network as a way to engage and inspire the next generation climate leaders and showcase the value of academic institutions as the Knowledge Sector. Building on past successes and lessons learned as well as current dialogues, the 2022 Forum will invite students to apply through four tracks.

Image by ANGELA BENITO

TRACKS

Transformative Change

Develop a project or product that will help elucidate how personal choices connect to systemic change

Inspiration and Empowerment

Develop a creative approach to raising awareness and influencing others using tactics such as video, art, writing, or social media

Ideas into Action

Propose a student-led climate-related project on campus or in the community that will affect measurable change over the course of 6 months.

Innovation and Imagination

For projects that do not fit into the other tracks, ideas in this category can be revolutionary, entrepreneurial, and creative.

All proposals must be actionable by students without extensive contingencies and should be designed to yield measurable results over the course of six months. Proposals may reflect ongoing projects and activities so long as they are the intellectual capital of the students applying and there is a projected measurable outcome during the duration of the Forum implementation period. New projects and ongoing projects will be subject to feedback from reviewers.

Participation will require three phases:

  • Applications: proposals must be submitted through the official form, and may require refinement based on reviewer feedback.

  • Workshop attendance: each member of the team must attend at last three of the online workshops to be offered by the Forum. 

  • Project Execution: teams will have 6 months to implement and test their ideas. During this time, they will be required to post monthly updates.  

Successful participants will contribute to a publication to be released at the 2022 COP. Certificates will be granted to students who complete all three phases of the program.

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