Online Short Certificate Course titled “In pursuit of Global Climate Change Negotiations: Follow COP without going to COP of the UNFCCC”
The Conference of Parties (COP) under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a major event that takes place in November/December each year in a different continent. COP 27 took place in November 2022 in Sharm el Shaikh and COP 28 will be held in Abu Dhabi in November 2023. Every COP is attended by all 195 countries that are signatories to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement over two weeks with the first week when technical negotiators under the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) work on draft texts under different agendas and the second week comes with the high-level political discussion where ministers and even some heads of state attend to finalize the decision text for adoption. Often the negotiations go into overtime and all-night sessions.
This online short certificate course titled “In pursuit of Global Climate Change Negotiations: Follow COP without going to COP of the UNFCCC” was designed for individuals who wished to follow the negotiations at COP without being physically present. With the aim to help the participants follow individual issues/ agendas of the COP negotiations in-depth and comprehend the outcomes of COP negotiations, this online course was organized by the Outreach, Extension and Continuing Education (OECE) unit of the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Science and Management (DESM), School of Life Sciences (SELS) and International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD). This course was executed under the guidance of experienced negotiators and experts like Prof. Saleemul Huq (Director, ICCCAD) who has attended all 27 COPs and Prof. Mizan R. Khan (Deputy Director, ICCCAD) who has attended 22 COPs. Other resource persons from ICCCAD who have attended few COPs shared updates on the side events and negotiation tracks they followed. During the course tenure, 13 online sessions were offered which covered pre-COP 27 to post COP 27 activities on the following important action tracks: Adaptation and resilience, Mitigation, Capacity-building, Climate Finance, and Loss and Damage.
There was daily online briefing for the participants depending on the thematic discussions during the COP-27 and resources with online event, links were shared with the participants to keep them updated with latest information. During the first week of COP 27, the resource persons tried to brief on the technical level discussion under two SBs of the UNFCCC and the second week covered the status of negotiation process and the final outcomes of the COP.
Majority of the course participants were professionals in the environment field who wanted to be informed about the activities of COP 27 but could not go to the COP. It was a great opportunity for such professionals to have the ground knowledge about the COP negotiations from the world-renowned experts in the field.
This online short course combined interactive lectures/sessions, online real-time interactions from field, videos, and participatory methods of learning. Formative assessment and feedback and summative assessment in the form of a presentation and essay on the participant’s chosen topic were used to evaluate the learning.
A presentation session followed by a certificate award ceremony for this short course was held on Feb 16, 2023. Professor Niaz Ahmed Khan, Ph.D., Pro-Vice Chancellor, and Prof. Saleemul Huq, Director, ICCCAD handed over the certificates to the participants.