Stellenbosch University to Open School for Climate Studies
Stellenbosch University to Open School for Climate Studies. Photo: Pixabay

A new School of Climate Studies will be officially launched at Stellenbosch University in June 2021.

Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande says with the new academic school focusing on climate change, this will hopefully enable SA’s academics and students to build a well-rounded body of scientific knowledge and skills to not only understand the problems better, but also uncover sustainable responses to various new challenges facing humanity.

“Global humanity is currently faced with the fourfold crises of COVID-19; deepening economic crises; the crisis of families, household and communities to make ends meet and climate change,” Nzimande said in a statement.

He said the economic destruction of the earth’s biosphere and ecological systems, in turn, has created a crisis in human sustainability, with its most devastating effects felt by the working people and poor across the globe.

Nzimande said he hopes the establishment of the climate school at Stellenbosch will set a trend amongst other SA universities and training colleges.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and most of the scientific community, human activity has had definite causal effects on global warming and climate change, resulting in increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and a range of other impacts.

“This threatens every aspect of human endeavour, including water supply, infrastructure, public health, coastal habitats and food security, to mention a few. But we all know that the effects of climate change will be worse in poor and developing countries like our country, regardless of its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions,” Nzimande said.

He said all South African universities and TVET colleges must urgently plan their differentiated and collective contributions to help not only better understand climate change dynamics but also to work towards changing the world for a better and more equal humanity. –