The Role of Universities to Promote Sustainable Practices and Climate Change Adaptation: Analysis of the 22 Conferences of the Parties Using Text Mining
Higher education institutions have a critical role in shaping societies by educating future leaders to think critically and solve problems, especially in a changing climate context and with many sustainability challenges. Therefore, these institutions play a key role in educating about climate change and sustainability, how to adapt to it and mitigate its effects, through knowledge creation and dissemination, through research, education and community outreach. The aim of this paper is to analyze through text mining the 22 Conferences of the Parties (COPs)’ documents to understand the role of universities to promote sustainable practices and climate change adaptation. This analysis demonstrates that terms related to the goals of higher education institutions (i.e. education and research, but also outreach) are at the core of the debates at the COPs, from education to innovation, research, learning, capacity building, awareness, knowledge, and so on. Thus, the COPs also call for sustainable development, which would be achieved by engaging civil society, creating and disseminating knowledge, building capacities, developing technologies and transforming them into innovations. This would engage the private sector, raising funds to finance the process, to promote a sustainable and resilient society to climate change, not only in the short term, but also in the long term.
KeywordsSustainable development Higher education institutions Universities’ campuses Living labs Climate change Text mining
This study was conducted by the Research Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Greens), from the University of Southern Santa Catarina (Unisul), in the context of the project Building Resilience in a Dynamic Global Economy: Complexity across scales in the Brazilian Food-Water-Energy Nexus (BRIDGE), funded by the Newton Fund, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e Inovação do Estado de Santa Catarina and the Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK).
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