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India and China join several other countries to support Sri Lanka Climate Change University

By: Staff Writer

May 19, Colombo (LNW): Several countries around the world spearheaded by India and China have stepped into collaborate and contribute towards the establishment of International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka considering their responsibility for climate action, senior presidential advisor on climate change Ruwan Wijewardena said.

President Wickremesinghe clarified that the university will not be confined to Sri Lanka; it will be an international stakeholder university, calling upon the international community to join hands in this endeavour, welcoming collaboration and contributions from around the world.

The International Climate Change University was one of the proposals Wickremesinghe made in the previous Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt in 2022 and the government has already allocated 600 acres of land in the central Nuwara Eliya district.

It was launched at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) with an aim to promote climate related research and technologies.

During COP28, in Dubai, Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesing launched proposals for three new initiatives—a climate justice forum, a tropical belt initiative, and an international climate change university.

A Chinese research institute and two or three Indian universities have expressed willingness to collaborate in Sri Lanka’s climate related capacity building endeavour, he disclosed.

Universities from Yele to George Town, Chinese Research Universities, University of Geneva from Italy, and University from Gujarat, have been keen on coming in and establishing the university.

The British Council is ready to get the assistance of several British universities specializing in climate change as a subject to come together as one, so that they can take certain subjects of the Climate Change University, he revealed.

Bangladesh, Seychelles and Moldova have already pledged their support to the ICCU. He emphasized that climate action is not the sole responsibility of any single nation and called upon the international community to join hands in this endeavour.

The International Climate Change University would be a post-graduate institution solely focused on research and does not offer undergraduate courses. Any country or organization that contributes to the university becomes a stakeholder and gains membership on the Board of Governance.

The Korean Exim Bank has expressed interest in partnering with the university. President Wickremesinghe urged that all future research in the field of climate change should be conducted at this institution.

With the risk of other extreme weather events and climate-related disasters continuing to increase, the Government of Sri Lanka is scaling up its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change under the Paris Agreement.

Central to this approach is the recognition that adaptation and mitigation strategies represent opportunities rather than obstacles to sustainable development and green economic growth.

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