For nearly 30 years, many governments have recognized education as a vital component of national and global efforts to combat climate change and pave the way for a sustainable future. According to the original United Nations Climate Treaty of 1992, it is included in an article The benchmark of the 2015 Paris Agreement with overlapping issues such as access to training and information.
But despite this understanding and much more Inspiring examples of projects With best practices, often led by determined NGOs and enthusiastic educators, climate literacy often remains at the edge of education systems, if it ever exists. Could all of this change in 2021, when governments around the world are expected to raise ambitions on climate action?
Growing impetus for climate education
There is certainly real momentum around the world towards a stronger outcome on climate education and environmental literacy, with less than seven months until the next day. United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) In Glasgow, Scotland in November.
This momentum now and in the years to come comes in large part from a new and new alignment of diverse interests committed to a growing ambition in climate education, led by groups such as earthday.org And this save our future.
Over the past 6-12 months, teachers, trade unions, youth, women’s groups, justice, researchers and environmental scientists have joined a unique coalition to demand quality compulsory climate education for all.
These movements now represent millions of people from almost every corner of the earth and are growing every day. Recent Brookings Institution report, “Unleashing Teacher and Student Creativity to Fight Climate Change: An Opportunity for Global Leadership”, ” It underscores the power of the moment, noting a diverse coalition of actors from around the world and eager to expand successful climate literacy approaches.
Immediate note in the coming weeks: Building on Earth Day Week 2021 Teach4thePlanet Statement About 33 million union teachers under international education and recently UNESCO World Conference On Education for Sustainable Development – encourages action among education ministers.
While they may not be directly responsible for the consequences of climate and environmental agreements, their political determination and influence will be important to responsible allies for the environment and foreign affairs and to shape their national outlook.
This is the next big opportunity to do so 2021 G20 Education Ministers’ Meeting The Italian presidency of the G20 at the end of the month in Sicily.
a Declaration For ministers and the G20 released this week, these coalitions have joined forces to say that quality climate education is also linked to the creation of jobs, a key to stronger citizen engagement and better decision-making by governments. Green jobs, building a stronger system and a more sustainable 21st century economy.
The declaration recognizes the importance of governments’ efforts to focus on renewable energy and electrification of transportation systems: these efforts, along with smarter and more efficient buildings and greener financial flows, will be essential to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
But he also says that without behavioral and cultural change, made possible by climate education and environmental literacy, it will be difficult to achieve the long-term goal of “net carbon emissions” by 2050 (a goal widely seen as protection). Goes) –if not impossible. This point has recently been confirmed Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Documents of scientists from about 20 research centers.
Research shows, for example, that changing individual behavior with respect to food, waste, agriculture, transportation and heating can reduce emissions by 20-30% – a measure to keep climate change under control and within limits. significant cut for the world. Science-based security, statement fights.
Support for COP26 action is emerging everywhere. For example, Guy Ryder, director general of the United Nations International Labor Organization, wrote earth day 2021 That “the effects of climate change will change the structure of employment. New jobs and new working families will emerge, others will disappear or become untenable and companies will have to find ways to organize work and production differently.”
“We have to prepare the youth for this changing world. Environmental education can enable students to develop the skills, optimism and determination to solve the climate crisis and lead the environmental movement of tomorrow,” he said.
The good news is that some governments agree with this. These include countries such as Argentina, Maldives and Italy, which co-host COP26 with the UK.
In 2019, the then Education Minister shocked the world with his announcement. compulsory climate education In the Italian school system. Italy is set to announce this week how it will do so through its education environment change policy.
Although Britain has not made the matter public, Ms. Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the United States, He celebrated Earth Day 2021. but said We really all need to use all our brainpower and potential to understand how to reduce impacts and how to adapt (to climate change), in the most innovative, creative and sustainable way. One way or another, we have to find a way to pass it on to the next generation”.
Less than seven months after COP26, everyone who cares about our planet and youth around the world should express their support for high-quality climate education for all.
Almost 30 years of waiting, three decades too long. Later this month and again in November, we hope that governments will make bold decisions to prove to all of us, especially young people, that the wait is worth it.
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