British Council and HSBC India Launch of the Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project.

Stv National I Thursday, 11th July 2024 I New Delhi. Today, I had the privilege of attending the launch of the Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project at the British Council of India. This significant event marks a critical step forward in the global effort to combat climate change by empowering youth with the skills and knowledge needed to drive sustainable economic growth. The main guests at the event included Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council; Lindy Cameron CB OBE, British High Commissioner to India; Scott McDonald, Chief Executive, British Council; and Hitendra Dave, CEO HSBC India.

The Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project is a collaborative initiative between the British Council and HSBC India. The project aims to establish a global climate skills approach that empowers youth, informs decision-makers about alternative climate education strategies, and addresses grassroots, national, and global climate challenges. By equipping young people and communities in India with the necessary skills, the initiative seeks to build resilience against the impending impacts of climate change and facilitate the transition to a net-zero economy.

Empowering Youth

One of the primary objectives of the project is to empower young people aged 18-30 in five countries, including India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Vietnam. This empowerment is achieved by providing education and training that focuses on climate resilience, leadership skills, and the ability to drive positive change within their communities.

Informing Decision-Makers

The project aims to inform policymakers, government institutions, and higher educational institutions about alternative climate education strategies. By raising awareness and encouraging engagement, the initiative seeks to integrate climate education into mainstream curricula and decision-making processes, ensuring that future generations are well-equipped to tackle climate-related challenges.

Addressing Climate Challenges

The Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project addresses climate challenges at various levels. It focuses on grassroots initiatives, national policies, and global strategies to create a comprehensive approach to climate action. By partnering with governments, communities, and institutions, the project aims to develop tangible solutions that are scalable and sustainable.

Key Highlights from the Event

Opening Discussion

The event commenced with an opening discussion featuring Alison Barrett MBE, Lindy Cameron CB OBE, Scott McDonald, and Hitendra Dave. Each speaker emphasized the critical importance of developing climate skills and fostering sustainable practices across various sectors.

Scott McDonald, Chief Executive of the British Council, remarked:

"At the British Council, we are committed to empowering young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to tackle the pressing challenges of climate change. Our partnership with HSBC on the ‘Climate Skills—Seeds for Transition India’ project reflects our shared vision of a more sustainable future. By equipping youth with essential climate resilience skills, they can lead the transition to greener economies and drive positive change in their communities. These skills are increasingly critical as we consider projections for the life of our planet and its natural resources."

Hitendra Dave, CEO of HSBC India, added:

"We have a long history of collaboration with the British Council and the co-creation of programmes that help achieve a larger social purpose. Our partnership on the Climate Skills programme will focus on youth and education, reflecting our joint commitment to equipping the younger generation to understand and adapt to climate change. Together, we aim to improve climate literacy and employability among marginalized youth communities in India."

Film Screening

A special screening of the climate documentary "Songs of the Earth" captivated the audience. The film illustrated the profound connection between humanity and the environment, underscoring the urgent need for collective action to protect our planet.

Panel Discussion

A highlight of the event was the panel discussion on "The Role of Youth in Driving Sustainable Economic Growth." Esteemed panellists, including Lindy Cameron and Alison Barrett, delved into the pivotal role of young people in steering the world toward a greener future. Their innovative ideas and passionate advocacy highlighted the importance of empowering the next generation with the skills and knowledge necessary for sustainable development.

Programme Vision and Implementation

Duration and Reach

Running from July 2024 to February 2026, the project aims to raise awareness among key stakeholders and directly engage 2,000 youth and train 300 master trainers in India. This extensive reach ensures that the project's impact is both deep and wide, touching various facets of society.

International Collaboration

The Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project is part of the British Council’s long-term international effort to establish a global climate skills approach. By working with young people in multiple countries, the initiative fosters international connectivity and collaboration, delivering locally-led interventions connected to a global network.

Local and Global Impact

This UK-led international collaboration aims to resource local organizations, empower youth to take climate action, and provide alternative climate education approaches. A unique aspect of the program is its focus on empowering both urban and rural youth by integrating youth-led social action with climate education.

Future Prospects and Sustainable Development

Climate Literacy and Employability

The project delves into climate literacy, helping to foster a deeper understanding of shared environmental challenges and solutions. By nurturing core skills and leadership abilities, the initiative provides a strong foundation for personal and professional growth, thereby enhancing employability among marginalized youth communities.

Community Engagement

Through a collaborative effort between the British Council and HSBC India, the programme trains local community organizations to better support young people who are disproportionately affected by climate change. Participants come from communities that encounter major systemic challenges in contributing to the growth of their country’s green economy.

Sustainable Economic Growth

The Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project aims to create a sustainable economic growth model that integrates climate action into every aspect of life. By equipping youth with the necessary skills and knowledge, the initiative seeks to drive the transition from high-carbon to low-carbon economies.

The launch of the Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project at the British Council of India is a testament to the power of collaboration in addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change. This initiative represents a bold step towards a sustainable future, equipping the next generation with the knowledge and skills they need to drive positive change and build resilient communities.

The British Council, as the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, continues to lead the way in fostering global collaboration for a sustainable and resilient future. By empowering youth, informing decision-makers, and addressing climate challenges at all levels, the Climate Skills: Seeds for Transition India Project is paving the way for a greener and more sustainable world.

In conclusion, today’s event highlighted the critical importance of developing climate skills and fostering sustainable practices across various sectors. The collaborative efforts of the British Council and HSBC India, combined with the enthusiastic participation of youth and stakeholders, are set to make a significant impact on climate action and sustainability in India and beyond.