KEY OUTCOMES: Pre-COP26 Side Event, UNESCO-TERRE-CSG-REI | All4Climate Italy 2021

“Smart Campus Cloud Network – A Digital Network of Universities, for Not Zero-Net Zero”

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Marco Buoni and Federico Riboldi presenting in the Town Hall of Casale Monferrato, Italy

Climate change is not just a crisis, but an emergency as urgent as the Pandemic: to act on it and explore the potentials of young people in addressing it, this Side Event was organized in the frame of All4Climate and Pre-COP26. Utilising a multistakeholder setting; it took place on 28th September 2021 inthe Cityof Casale Monferrato – Italy, witnessing high-level presentations by international leading experts: Bhanu Neupane – Project Manager at UNESCO in Paris, Rajendra Shende – Chairman of Indian NGO TERRE Policy Centre, Federico Riboldi – young Mayor of Casale Monferrato in Italy, Marco Buoni – skills building Director of Centro Studi Galileo in Italy and Paolo Buoni – CEO of the Renewable Energy Institute in Scotland.

The All4Climate Commission championed this event, which focused on the youth (18-24 years) from University and Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs), and the project that brings them together: Smart Campus Cloud Network (SCCN), one of the flagship projects of the TERRE Policy Centre. SCCN is a digital network of 350+ universities and HEIs; which promotes practical and hands-on activities on campus to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to mitigate climate change and conserve biodiversity. “In brief, the network transforms the campus into a laboratory of SDGs and accelerates the attainment of goals through learning by doing and sharing through digital dashboard,” said Rajendra Shende, TERRE Chairman and former UNEP Director.

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The youth can offer 1.8 billion strong pairs of hands that can be utilized in our quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” revealed Bhanu Neupane of UNESCO. “As SDG is a multistakeholder process, by default the youth serve as the most important pillar for SDGs processes”, he added. The speakers conveyed that there is a need to appreciate the role of young people as innovators, critical thinkers, change-makers, leaders, and communicators. Initiatives such as You-CAN (UNESCO) must be utilized to the furthest possible extent, and there is a need to forge synergies with projects such as SCCN for the benefit of our planet. “We have initiated sustainable practices in Casale Monferrato to make it a smart-city”, said Federico Riboldi, giving real life examples; “10,000 skilled technicians from Centro Studi Galileo have made refrigeration and air conditioning sustainable,” added Marco Buoni. Paolo Buoni, explaining the experiences of the Renewable Energy Institute – close to Glasgow where COP26 will take place- added that “The power of youth for innovation in renewable energies needs to be encouraged and hence our institute is working with the University of Edinburgh, the Heriot-Watt University as well as with SCCN to accelerate the change towards a climate friendly world.

The event also focussed on an ambitious movement that began to transform the Educational Institutes into carbon-neutral campuses: “Not Zero-Net Zero”; it is envisioned that the students from these campuses will be the change-makers of the future, upon graduating. Nearly 250 Institutes have pledged to make their campus Carbon Neutral – this is indeed a simple approach, called the NET approach: new clean energy, efficiency and tree cover. The seminar concluded with a lively interaction with the vast audience coming from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, resolving that “Youth can transform, to make sure that none is left behind.

All4Climate – Italy 2021 encompasses the full line up of climate events taking place in Italy this year. Its goal is simple: to make 2021 a landmark year for climate ambition. Launched by the Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition in collaboration with the World Bank Group’s Connect4Climate and with the participation of the Lombardy Region and the Municipality of Milan, All4Climate aims to foster proactive dialogue on the challenges of the climate crisis and deliver on the objectives of the Paris Agreement. All4Climate provides a unique opportunity for climate champions around the world to contribute directly to this September’s Pre-COP meetings in Milan as well as November’s COP26, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy (Source:

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The event was organized in a hybrid modality and involved participants attending remotely, as well as in person in Casale Monferrato, Italy’s historical Capital of Refrigeration and headquarters to Centro Studi Galileo (CSG) – the EU’s leading Training Centre for the HVAC/R Sector, in partnership with TERRE Policy Centre (TERRE) – the global non-profit, non-partisan and independent organisation dedicated to sustainable solutions to our development imperatives. CSG and TERRE have a longstanding and fruitful collaboration, mainly focusing on capacity building of young people. With a consultative status, TERRE is a key partner with UNESCO in leveraging ICT enabled youth centric activities on climate resilience. Further support to the Event was given by the Renewable Energy Institute, promoting best practices in renewable energy since 1975.