We need to educate new environmental leaders for climate change mitigation

Climate change, an issues which is not only crucial in scientific societies but also in the life of ordinary people. We could not neglect the importance of this topic in Iran. Otherwise, our country will face with critical problems.

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They serve as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC Parties (Conferences of the Parties) (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and beginning in the mid-1990s, to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. From 2005 the Conferences have also served as the “Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol” (CMP); also parties to the Convention that are not parties to the Protocol can participate in Protocol-related meetings as observers.

The COP conference are listed in following, 1995: COP 1, The Berlin Mandate, 1996: COP 2, Geneva, Switzerland, 1997: COP 3, The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, 1998: COP 4, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 1999: COP 5, Bonn, Germany; 2000: COP 6, The Hague, Netherlands; 2001: COP 6, Bonn, Germany; 2001: COP 7, Marrakech, Morocco; 2002: COP 8, New Delhi, India; 2003: COP 9, Milan, Italy; 2004: COP 10, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 2005: COP 11/CMP 1, Montreal, Canada; 2006: COP 12/CMP 2, Nairobi, Kenya; 2007: COP 13/CMP 3, Bali, Indonesia; 2008: COP 14/CMP 4, Poznań, Poland; 2009: COP 15/CMP 5, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2010: COP 16/CMP 6, Cancún, Mexico; 2011: COP 17/CMP 7, Durban, South Africa; 2012: COP 18/CMP 8, Doha, Qatar; 2013: COP 19/CMP 9, Warsaw, Poland; 2014: COP 20/CMP 10, Lima, Peru; and 2015: COP 21/CMP 11, Paris, France [1].

COP 19/CMP 9 meeting in Warsaw, 2013

 Furthermore, another main scientific intergovernmental body which works under the auspices of the United Nations is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It was first established in 1988 by two United Nations organizations, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPCC produces reports that support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is the main international treaty on climate change. The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is consisted of three Working Group (WG) Reports and a Synthesis Report. WG-I: The Physical Science Basis, WG-II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability; WG-III: Mitigation of Climate Change. This report provides an update of knowledge on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of climate change. IPCC also published an Inventory Software and its manual. In Iran also National Climate Change Office (NCCO) was established in January 1998 under the auspices of the Department of the Environment. This office published initial report and second report on March 2003 and December 2010, respectively. The third report is under publishing [2]. In these reports the status of Iran in Greenhouse Gas production in different sectors was mentioned. Because of the importance of climate change, the Goal 13 in SDG is allocated to climate change: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” [3]. Also, it is a main section in Global Environment Outlook (GEO), it should be mentioned that Dr. Maknoon will participate from Iran in GEO 6 .

climate change 2014 report was published

 By the way, recent projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) raised fears that storm activity in the eastern Mediterranean would decline this century if global warming continues on present trends[4]. In addition, Iran will face a hotter and drier future due to climate change, Gary Lewis said, the UN resident coordinator in Iran [5]. Decrease on rainfall is the first effect of climate change in Iran. So, some environmental problems are going to become a catastrophe if the government doesn’t act immediately such as Khuzestan haze storm [6] and Lake Urmia [7]. Furthermore, Change the future of agriculture patterns [8],[9] air quality in cities [10] are the main issues regarding to climate change. Consequently, as discussed above, make a clear and robust road map for research institutes, universities, industries, private sections and NGOs should be next step by government.

Compare Lake Urmia in 1998 and 2014 photo adopted

AUT’s Office of sustainability has made its own moral responsibility to reduce the environmental foot print of AUT’s campus. So, we are following the last upcoming events and training students. Some research projects are done to achieve this goal such as green buildings at campus, increase the awareness of students toward climate change by meetings and visiting, calculate CO2 emitting from transportation at AUT’s campus, reduction paper consumption and create a platform for youth entrepreneur in sustainability. We also collaborated volunteering with the UNEP research project on the attitude of Iranian youths for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and a research project on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) supported by the Iran environmental protection agency.In both of them, climate change is one of the main sections of both agendas.
It is obvious that we need an immediate action to mitigate or adapt climate change. And students as the youth leaders of future at university need to learn what they could do now and in future. Therefore, it will be necessary to allocate a course in the curriculum of the university or holding workshops for students to encourage them for practical and tangible action again climate change. I would like to finish this article by this slogan “Think Global, Act local”.
Written by: Morteza Nikravan

[3]Open Working Group. “Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals.” (2014)
[8]Abbaspour, Karim C., et al. “Assessing the impact of climate change on water resources in Iran.” Water resources research 45.10 (2009).

[9]Gohari, Alireza, et al. “Climate change impacts on crop production in Iran’s Zayandeh-Rud River Basin.” Science of the Total Environment 442 (2013): 405-419.

[10]Orosa, José Antonio, Gholamreza Roshan, and Saeed Negahban. “Climate change effect on outdoor ambiences in Iranian cities.” Environmental monitoring and assessment 186.3 (2014): 1889-1898.