For World Environment Day, June 5th, Education International calls on governments to address climate change and help beat air pollution, the biggest public health crisis on the planet.
Educators and students to ‘beat’ air pollution
Teachers, education support personnel and their unions across the globe are taking invaluable steps to raise awareness and demand action on the climate change emergency. On this year’s World Environment Day (5 June) many teachers will be dedicating a day to discussing climate change, with a particular focus on how to ‘beat’ or reduce air pollution. Teachers, education support personnel and principals are doing everything from implementing a walk/bike to school day to putting together workshops to discuss air pollution and climate change with their students and/or among themselves.
Urgent measures must be taken to address climate change
It is necessary for governments to listen to the voices of the students and educators in order to save our planet and the environment.
The Paris Agreement, ratified by UN member states in September 2016, committed to reduce carbon emissions and global warming to well below 2% above pre-industrial levels, but meaningful efforts are yet to be made to meet the emission targets.
EI strongly believes that education can be a powerful tool for combatting climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to include climate change education in education policies, plans, programmes and curriculum.
EI insists that the Paris Agreement should be implemented as a matter of urgency. As part of that effort, governments should provide the necessary financial support for climate change education, teacher training, professional development and research.
EI General Secretary David Edwards urges governments to take immediate steps to address this urgent crisis. “Teachers and educators are crucial to the delivery of climate change education, and they are doing their best to protect the planet. Students have rallied around the world to stress the importance of action on all fronts. It is time for political leaders to act, not just talk”.
“Governments should take immediate policy, legislative and practical measures to combat climate change,” he stressed. “It is of utmost importance that governments update and improve curricula, ensure the professional development of teachers and provide teaching and learning materials to address the climate change emergency,” he concluded.