Latin American (LA) developing countries are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Despite the fact that adapting to climate change has high priority among many LA governments, a current lack of technology and access to resources hinder these countries to adapt successfully. Therefore, there is a need for international assistance to enable Latin America to cope with the many challenges climate change poses to them.

It is on the basis of the above needs, the project CELA Network of Climate Change Technology Transfer Centres in Europe and Latin America is being proposed as part of the ALFA Programme. The purpose of the project is not only to improve the academic quality of European and Latin American higher education institutions (HEI), but also to strengthen the role of HEI to contribute to sustainable development and social cohesion.

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can play a key role, for example in terms of research, consultancy and technology transfer as well as the education and qualification of future employees. A problem seen today is that, despite the importance of the topic climate change and diverse existing and developing expertise at Latin American HEI, the potential of these institutions to offer solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation is not sufficiently developed. International cooperation and the establishment of formal structures in LA countries which allow joint research collaboration, exchanges of experiences and lessons to be learnt among different institutions in the region is very important due to the global, interdisciplinary nature of climate change.