Climate Governance: What Can Engineers and Technicians Bring
The need to receive updated and good knowledge about climate change: Recent reports (IPCC, 2022) show that it is important to have a good scientific knowledge of the science of climate change, its impacts, and vulnerabilities to make the right decisions and implement measures both in terms of adaptation than mitigation.
Governments and governmental institutions do not always have the geopolitical and legal tools to act effectively and efficiently at the local, and even less in a coordinated way at the global level. It seems that the financial, economic, technical, and societal issues to put in place rapid measures to adapt and to mitigate to climate change could be resolved more easily. Knowledge is not the only lever to implement decisions relating to adaptation and mitigation. Solutions must include both the mastery of scientific knowledge and technical skills, legal skills and a good understanding of the governance systems operating the levers at the global level. At another level, governments and institutions being busy with daily life, do not always have the motivation to deeply investigate the short, medium, and long-term complexities of climate change and the needs to adapt and mitigate. When the daily distraction from the urgency to act has its toll, presenting short essays that strengthen the need to act, can be of enormous value to boost the motivation of officials.
Social science being the scientific study of human society and social relationships involves research on all aspects of history and literature, both classical and modern, philosophy, art, culture and the media, communication and linguistics, and all fields of social science at the periphery of Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM), such as law, economics, political science. Robert Burton Clark, UCLA Professor Emeritus of Higher Education and Sociology, was one of the first sociologists to study higher education from a global perspective. With research interests in various domains of higher education systems, he proposed a three forces perspectives triangle (Clark, 1983) to help position national systems of higher education of various countries, the three dimensions being: the state authority, the market, and the academic oligarchy.
When we look at university contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation, we shall ask ourselves first: from which perspective do they contribute? To contribute is to bring one’s share to a common work, to be part of a result. Knowing what contributes to climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, from the point of view of the university, would require for example, crossing the expected goals of the university, its actors, and stakeholders with the possibilities of action in the fields of adaptation and mitigation.
Not only we aim at bringing light to the contribution of University Stakeholders engaged in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies, but also presenting tools and perspectives to help understand latest developments in terms of applied research, advocacy, lobby and influence of public authorities, international expertise, etc. on the theme of climate change adaptation and mitigation governance. Motivated students, researchers, engineers, technicians can bring a valuable opinion to the community: they receive the latest news and research articles and are used to produce papers and research materials as part of their studies and professional careers. When being able to “ventilate” these writings and essays in communities beyond their close ones, a sincere contribution can be found to the latest research at large.