Policy ForumENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

Universal education is key to enhanced climate adaptation

Science  28 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6213, pp. 1061-1062
DOI: 10.1126/science.1257975

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

Over the coming years, enormous amounts of money will likely be spent on adaptation to climate change. The international community recently made pledges of up to $100 billion per year by 2020 for the Green Climate Fund. Judging from such climate finance to date, funding for large projects overwhelmingly goes to engineers to build seawalls, dams, or irrigation systems (1). But with specific projections of future changes in climate in specific locations still highly uncertain, such heavy concrete (in both meanings) and immobile investments that can lock countries into certain paths may not be the best way to go (2). Our new study suggests that it may be efficient and effective to give part of this fund to educators rather than engineers. Public investment in universal education in poor countries in the near future should be seen as a top priority for enhancing societies' adaptive capacity vis-à-vis future climate change.