• 9 December 2023

The second edition of the RewirEd Summit, which was hosted today inside COP28’s Green Zone at the Connect Conference Center at Expo City Dubai, has made history by bringing education to the forefront of climate action, to impact billions of children and youth globally. RewirEd Summit is the first ever global education summit on climate that brought together more than 1,000 participants, including 2 heads of state, 22 ministers, and 28 CEOs, with 260 speakers, representing 209 entities and 76 countries, leading a global discussion that showcased the powerful solutions that exist at the climate-education intersection.

Key speakers who led the RewirEd Summit’s solution-centric agenda at COP28, H.E. Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and the Chief Executive Officer of Expo City Dubai Authority; Hon. Awut Deng Achuil, Minister of General Education and Instruction, South Sudan; Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt; H.E. Cheikh Oumar Anne, Minister of National Education, Senegal; H.E. João Marques da Costa, Minister of Education, Portugal; Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (video remarks), Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations; Kitty van der Heijden, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, UNICEF; Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director, Education Cannot Wait; Irina Bokova, Former Director-General, UNESCO; Rossieli Soares da Silva, Secretary of Education, State of Pará, Brazil, in addition to H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, among others.

The RewirEd Summit agenda featured 35 sessions, with every discussion bringing together key actors from diverse sectors to shape a collective path forward, for transformed educations systems to be at the forefront of climate action. Staying true to its commitment to bringing new and unlikely allies under one roof, the RewirEd Summit ensured the inclusion of youth in almost all the sessions of its agenda. The programming saw ministers of education, international cooperation, climate and environment, joined by students, teachers, youth advocates, as well as subject matter experts, climate champions, development sector representatives, indigenous leaders, and many others, for a series of insightful and inspiring sessions.

Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “It is heartening to see that the themes of the second RewirEd Summit align seamlessly with the principle of the United Nations Secretary General’s transforming education agenda, emphasizing lifelong learning, green jobs, increasing financing, resilience of education systems and a human-focused approach. Let’s work together to transform education for all children and young people ensuring that no one is left behind.”

Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said: “Dubai Cares, under the leadership of Tariq Al Gurg, has played a critical role in furthering the cause of education through the RewirEd Summit, and it is to Dubai Cares credit that they are leading worldwide, in their concern about the connection between climate change that we are facing and the denial of educational opportunity. An understanding that unless we act through Education Cannot Wait, and other educational agencies, droughts, floods, firestorms, cyclones, and other climate events are going to forcibly displace many more millions of children and adults, and in particular, deny children their right to education.”

H.E. Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of Dubai Cares, said: “As the host of COP28, we embraced the opportunity to reinforce education as a key solution for climate ambitions. This day in particular, a full day dedicated to global education, is a first among previous COPs and allows us to place a much-needed spotlight on an important principle: a green economy runs on green jobs that rely on green skills taught in schools. Where education goes, the economy follows. “

H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman, Dubai Cares, said: “Dubai Cares has delivered on its commitment to the world in bringing education as a main thematic in the agenda of the COP through its current Presidency, and through the second edition of the RewirEd Summit, we have also delivered on our promise to make this edition, a Summit of Solutions, by showcasing hundreds of incredible innovations that exist at the climate-education nexus. And each of the launches, announcements, and commitments made today, has served as a real and concrete example, of what we can achieve, for current and future generations, when stakeholders from across sectors actively come forward with solutions, thereby demonstrating the power of transforming education, through a whole-of-society ecosystem approach, built on cross-sectoral collaboration.”

Breakthrough Initiatives at the Education and Climate Intersection

The one-day event witnessed the launch of impactful initiatives and put the spotlight on innovative solutions that would enable the rewiring of education systems across countries, in ways that would empower children and youth to actively contribute to climate action at every stage of learning. Brought forward by stakeholders representing the entire education ecosystem, the initiatives that were showcased at the RewirEd Summit, reinforced its success in bringing the whole of society together, for concrete action through cross-sectoral collaboration.  

Key announcements

  • UNICEF and Generation Unlimited launched ‘Green Rising’, which will over the next three years (2023-2025), create pathways for at least 10 million children and youth, especially girls, in developing countries to take grassroots action through volunteering; green skills building, jobs and entrepreneurship; as well as advocacy – while mobilizing hundreds of millions more to do the same through an ecosystem of other public, private, and youth stakeholders. 
  • In a special segment, Dr. Al Gurg announced the spin-off of the RewirEd Summit as an independent standalone global platform led by a global board. In its first term, the three co-chairs of the board were announced as Ms. Laura Frigenti, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education; Ms. Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait; and Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares.
  • TheAga Khan Foundation launched a new online portal of over 100 teacher-led, teacher-tested, and teacher-approved climate action solutions for education from more than 60 countries, co-funded by Dubai Cares. The foundation also announced a new mechanism at the country level, for advancing climate action in and through school and system-level collaborative networks, titled “Policy-Practice Translational Mechanism for Climate Education”.
  • In collaboration with Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN), the Governments of the Kyrgyz Republic and Malawi announced plans to link early childhood development and foundational learning with climate resilience and action in their countries.
  • The Social Investment Program (SIP), an initiative led by Dubai Cares, with Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, under the World Food Programme’s School Meals Coalition, launched the first ever global social impact bond that will scale up sustainable homegrown school feeding programs in Senegal, and catalyze the development of a sustainable private post-secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program around climate and green skilling, and promote women entrepreneurship in resilient agricultural value chains.
  • The Summit also witnessed the launch of the ‘Planet-Friendly School Meals White Paper’ by the Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition.  Rwanda, Kenya, and Sierra Leone are among the first countries to announce their commitment to implementing the recommendations outlined in the White Paper.
  • In partnership with Dubai Cares, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) announced the launch of the Green Jobs for Youth Online Training and Mentoring Program to empower youth in choosing careers that contribute to solving the climate crisis and enhance their potential in driving system transformation around Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on Climate Action, and other SDGs.  
  • The African Union Commission announced the theme for the year 2024 on Education: "Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality, and Relevant Learning in Africa", and highlighted their plans to transform education across the continent by rethinking education models.

In addition, discussions at the RewirEd Summit reinforced the urgent gaps in education transformation that will be addressed by the Dubai Cares Global Education Solutions Accelerator, which Dr. Al Gurg launched on December 2nd, at the heart of the COP28 Presidency Program in the Blue Zone, in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, and together with the strategic support of the Global Center on Adaptation. The innovative mechanism aims to make education transformation a reality for every country in the world by 2030, allowing countries to work with international actors and platforms to collectively identify and fast-track the implementation of education transformation solutions. In its first phase, Dubai Cares and the Aga Khan Foundation will take the Accelerator to 10 countries, which means 2.1 billion people will benefit from the short and long gains of a transformed education system.

With this historic edition of the RewirEd Summit, Dubai Cares has set a new precedent on how a philanthropy can change the world by revamping systems and bringing together collaborative meaningful partnerships, that not only will pave the way for a prosperous and sustainable future for all, but also solve the most complex challenge facing humanity today, which is education!

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