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Studying Abroad “Deeply Implicated” In The Worldwide Climate Change Crisis

Global education is “deeply implicated” in the global climate crisis, according to sectors and institutions, as a pilot project envisioning a net zero sector by 2030 is launched.

According to Adrienne Fusek, director of Faculty-Led Study Abroad Global Affairs at San Diego State University and CANIE global board member, the CANIE Accord is intended to align the international education sector with the Paris Agreement and the ambition of limiting global temperature rise and the consequences of climate change.

The non-binding memorandum of understanding’s goal is “to strengthen and accelerate the international education sector’s response to the climate crisis,” she said at a launch event on April 21.

“The CANIE Accord is our key program to move us forward,” fellow board member CJ Tremblay added. “All it needs to succeed is the willpower of those in our sector to choose change and to choose action.”

Three guiding principles are outlined in the document.

First, signatories must act immediately in the context of their own operations and environment. Furthermore, the document contends that collaboration and innovation as a global sector will reduce emissions while supporting students’ global learning and capacity for climate action. The third element aims to develop climate solutions by committing signatories to actions that “aim to advance individual and collective well-being while reducing inequalities and deprivation.”

The organization’s Glasgow Paper implies providing guidelines and best practises for international educators, as well as “contextualising” the CANIE Accord document with research and other discussion points. On top of the 12-member global board, the volunteer organisation, which has chapters in Europe, Oceania, and the Americas, six working groups, and approximately 130 active participants, is actively encouraging institutions, associations, organisations, and departments to sign the document.

The pledge of organisations guarantees a high level of buy-in than individual signatures, according to Robin Shields, professor of Education at Bristol University, but all types of international education organisations should be represented among the signatories.

According to the sixth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, human-caused climate change has “caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people,” with the most vulnerable people and systems being disproportionately affected, according to Shields.

“International education is deeply implicated in this picture. We are both part of the problem, not least through our reliance on unsustainable air travel, and also part of the potential solution through the skills we impart to students through the examples we set, and through the values that we espouse.”

The Accord has already been signed by organisations such as FPP, EAIE, and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

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