Education International
Education International

Changing the climate of education after COP21

published 2 December 2015 updated 11 December 2015

With all eyes firmly locked on global climate negotiations in Paris, the moment is now to focus on how education must play a significant role in sowing the seeds for a sustainable future.

Billed as the make it or break it moment for the environment and life as we know it on earth, the world’s leaders are in Paris for the United Nations’ 21st Conference of Parties, better known as COP21, to agree on a sustainable way forward.

With COP21 taking place on the heels of the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Agenda, education has a major role to play in making sustainable living a reality. This is why Education International (EI) is in Paris to ensure the importance of the classroom is known. In fact, educating and communicating sustainable development have already been included in the preliminary language to be negotiated by governments.

Taking part at COP21 as a partner within the civil society group, EI wants to urge governments to recognise how crucial a comprehensive agreement is for the world’s future.

“Education must be an integral part of a climate deal,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen, who is set to take part in an EI-organised panel discussion on the role of education and the labour movement in reversing climate change. “Financial commitments are imperative to ensuring that schools and teachers have the resources to properly adapt curriculum focused on climate change.”

The panel discussion, part of the Trade Union Forum on Climate and Jobs is set to take place on Friday, 4 December from 11h00 am to 12h30 pm at the Generations Climat space, Room 2 in Le Bourget.

Climate change was a focus at EI’s latest quadrennial congress last July, where resolutions were passed to make sustainable development one of the organisation’s priorities in its programmes moving forward. The UN Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September, has included in target 4.7 of the education goal that by 2030 “all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.”