The Green Climate Fund, the Global Partnership for Education and Save the Children launch the world’s largest investment for green schools

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Save the Children have launched today an unprecedented US$70 million investment at COP28 to build climate-resilient schools in vulnerable countries.

Climate change is threatening every child’s right to a quality, safe education. Nearly one billion girls and boys – roughly half the world’s children – live in countries at extremely high risk for the harmful effects of climate change.

Every year, climate events interrupt learning for about 40 million children, a figure likely to rise as the intensity and frequency of weather events increase. Altogether, climate change is likely to displace more than 143 million people by 2050, disrupting the education and psychological wellbeing of millions of children.

To address this growing threat, the world’s two largest funds for climate and education have joined forces with Save the Children and partner governments to help millions of children continue to learn safely. Jointly launched at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, Building the Climate Resilience of Children and Communities through the Education Sector (BRACE) marks the first major investment of climate finance in the education sector.

This ground-breaking financing mechanism will support education systems in vulnerable countries to construct climate-resilient and green schools, integrate climate change in school curricula and provide climate early warnings to schools.

“This partnership between education and climate action testifies to the urgency of protecting children and their education from the impacts of extreme weather,” said Laura Frigenti, GPE Chief Executive Officer. “To address this daunting challenge, we all need to come together to protect the most vulnerable children and give them the education they need so they can reinforce our fight against climate change.”

Starting with three countries – Cambodia, South Sudan and Tonga – BRACE will increase the resilience of their education systems through retrofitting and constructing greener and more climate-adaptive schools in line with the international School Safety Framework.

Based on results and lessons from these pilot countries, BRACE will expand its investment pool of school infrastructure projects that GCF, GPE and other donors, including the private sector, can contribute to through additional financing for greener and more climate-resilient education systems.

“GCF is proud to partner with GPE and Save the Children to support children in the face of the climate crisis. The proposed $70 million BRACE investment facility will help bridge an urgent investment gap and equip countries to build safer, greener schools, while developing school curricula that empower future generations to be agents of change amid escalating climate impacts,” said GCF Executive Director, Mafalda Duarte.

“We know children are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, while being the least responsible for its causes,” said Save the Children CEO Inger Ashing. “This initiative will help make four million school children safer and more resilient. We’re proud to partner to help the education sector adapt to the impacts of climate change and keep children safe and learning. It’s a landmark announcement and the first major investment of climate finance in education, including for the Green Climate Fund.”

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