Edu4Climate: European Higher Education Institutions Network for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
The Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region faces rapid population growth (currently about 400 million inhabitants) as well as political and socio-economic instabilities. These challenges, experienced by a part of the world that is already hot and arid, are exacerbated by droughts and the extreme weather conditions associated with rapid climate change. Extremes of temperature, in combination with increasing air pollution and windblown desert dust, could in the near future lead to intolerable conditions, ultimately compromising human habitability and promoting migration. Since climate change and air quality share many common sources, it appears logical to focus on the development of amelioration strategies that combine the goals of limiting climate change and reducing air pollution. It has been estimated that mankind may have a relatively small-time window – up to the middle of the century – in which to implement solutions to these challenges, particularly as far as climate change is concerned. Edu4ClimAte will engage Advanced Partners (from France, Austria, Germany, Finland) to strengthen the scientific excellence of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from twin islands of widening countries (Greece, Cyprus) with a view to establish a “regional hub of knowledge” in air pollution and climate change research and innovative solutions, engaging their respective surrounding ecosystems from the quadruple helix in addressing these societal challenges over the wider EMME. Edu4ClimAte will enhance local, regional, and international clusters led by its consortium with a view to build the foundation of an inclusive European Universities Alliance made of Advanced and Widening HEIs in Climate & Atmospheric Sciences to optimally support the current EU Green Deal ambition and its regional challenges, train and educate the next generation of researchers and innovators to achieve the EU long-term 2050 climate-neutrality objectives.