UNITED NATIONS : Thousands of universities around the world on Thursday last, declared a ''climate emergency'' and committed themselves with the United Nations to fighting climate change, in an effort to mobilise their students.

In a letter, the representative of more than 7,000 educational institutions on six continents promised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, or 2050 at the latest.

They also pledged more resources for ''action-oriented'' climate change research and skills development, and to develop environmental education both on campus and through out-reach programmes.

''What we teach is shaping the future,'' said Inger Andersen, director of the United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP], in a statement welcoming the initiative, which was presented at a ministerial meeting at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.

''Young people are increasingly at the forefront of calls for more action on climate and environmental challenges, and initiatives directly involving young people in this critical work are a valuable contribution,'' she added. [AFP]


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