UN agency: higher education bodies back 'climate emergency'

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. environment agency says networks and organizations representing more than 7,000 institutions of higher and further education around the world have signed a letter declaring "a climate emergency" and committing to tackle it.

U.N. Environment representative Sam Barrett announced the initiative at a U.N. meeting Wednesday promoting higher education.

The letter says: "The young minds that are shaped by our institutions must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and capability to respond to the ever-growing challenges of climate change."

The letter commits the institutions to support a three-point plan which includes mobilizing resources for climate change research, increasing education on preserving the environment, and going carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the very latest.

Organizers hope over 10,000 institutions will sign on this year.