In a significant development aimed at addressing the challenges of climate change, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has revealed that efforts are underway to establish the Climate Change University next year. The president made this announcement during a briefing held on climate change and green growth at the Presidential Secretariat on June 2.
President Wickremesinghe emphasized that the Climate Change University will be a specialized post-graduate institution solely dedicated to research in the field of climate change. It will not offer undergraduate courses, ensuring a laser focus on advanced studies and cutting-edge research. The university will welcome contributions from countries and organizations interested in climate change and will grant them membership on the Board of Governance. Notably, the Korean Exim Bank has expressed its interest in partnering with the university, underscoring the international support for this initiative.
Highlighting the significance of the International Climate Change University, President Wickremesinghe urged that all future research endeavors in the field of climate change should be conducted at this institution. He further revealed that esteemed institutions like Harvard and MIT have shown interest in collaborating with the university, indicating the high regard it is garnering globally.
Recognizing the importance of capacity building, President Wickremesinghe also proposed the consideration of short-term courses tailored for government officials. By equipping public servants with the necessary knowledge and skills, the government aims to strengthen its efforts in combating climate change and pursuing sustainable practices.
During the briefing, the discussions revolved around five thematic areas identified in a previous meeting with President Wickremesinghe. These areas include the establishment of a Climate Change Office, facilitation of Green Finance, the establishment of the International Climate Change University, promoting Nature Positive Green Growth, and providing Innovative Management Support. Special attention was given to regions that lag behind in these areas, such as marine pollution and the adoption of electric car mobility.
President Wickremesinghe instructed the authorities to address these concerns promptly, emphasizing the need for active involvement from the private sector and international organizations. By fostering collaboration and engagement, the government aims to drive sustainable practices, protect the environment, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.