Compulsory Global Climate Change Awareness Education

The United Kingdom recently hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference – known as COP26 – in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021.

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

One of the key focuses was an international campaign that has been waged throughout 2021. Its aim is to make climate change education compulsory in all schools across the globe.

Since January 2021, over 200 million people from global non-governmental groups have publicly stated that climate literacy is the most important part of any current or future curriculum. It is the only way to solve the climate crisis on Earth, say activists. A conference delegate stated that:

Coordinators of the campaign are transforming climate education from a ‘nice-to-have’ into a core subject for school curricula world-wide. In doing so, governments can ensure young people leave school with the skills and environmental knowledge needed to be engaged citizens in their communities and places of work.

Haldis Holst, deputy general secretary of Educational International, highlighted the need for urgent action, saying:

The climate crisis is increasingly touching every country, community, and school across the globe. Teachers are reporting that many young pupils are showing signs of fear and of anxiety about their futures.

A commitment to put climate education into the core of curricula is thus not just about equipping youth with the skills and the knowledge they will need as adults. It is also about healing, hope and engagement in the solutions that can, if the world steps up ambition, solve this crisis in time.