Education International and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joined global, regional, and national civil society, mostly environmental organisations, in the appeal responding to the initiative launched by EarthDay.org to convince governments to place a priority on climate literacy and to bring good quality, science-based climate change education into schools as part of civic education.
The campaign is designed to make climate education a priority for governments when they meet for COP 26 in November of 2021 in Glasgow.
The letter states that “the decades-long failure to provide quality and meaningful climate and environmental education and civic skills to primary and secondary students worldwide has undermined the effort to solve the climate crises and other critical environmental issues while hampering efforts to build a global green economy and to create the jobs of the future.”
In the press release announcing the effort, EI General Secretary David Edwards, said that “our World Congress last year passed a resolution calling for education systems to ensure comprehensive climate change education—that is not happening, and we need to change it.”
Changing it is essential for new generations to make the best choices on the way that they live, work, and participate in government.
Edwards stressed that “climate literacy is part of a larger challenge for education. Teachers must be free, as professionals. to teach based on fact, not opinion. They should be allowed and encouraged to awaken the interest of students in fundamental issues like the human and environmental future of our planet and to stimulate and develop the skills for discussion and engagement.”
He concluded: “Active citizens determine their destinies in democracies. They are players, not innocent bystanders bearing witness to the influence and impact of others.”