Photo: Leon Enrique / Flickr
Photo: Leon Enrique / Flickr

Education: a powerful tool for combatting climate change.

published 28 August 2019 updated 18 August 2021

A Guide For Education Unions And Educators.

Climate change is shaking up the political agenda. While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regularly sounds the alarm, international processes aimed at containing global warming have failed to make any headway. Some governments, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, have recently declared a climate emergency, but so far they have failed to take any action.

Students around the world, meanwhile, are walking out of classes and taking to the streets to demand climate action and justice.

Faced with this enormous and unprecedented challenge, humanity has no other choice but to radically change its development model to bring about a low-carbon transition. To that end, some solutions are known, while others still need to be developed. But one thing is certain: the collective effort needed in this situation requires nothing less than a revolution of the heart, of the mind – and urgent action.

Consequently, rethinking education must be part of the solution too. The ability of education to inspire, engage and empower people as well as inform people of the climate emergency, including its causes and impacts, are clearly acknowledged in international climate agreements.

However, this recognition must be translated into action plans and policies: we must ensure that climate change education is incorporated into school curricula, teaching and learning materials, and teacher training.

Teachers are change agents and can be at the forefront of the fight against climate change but they have to have the means to do so. This guide aims to provide EI member organisations with a tool for exploring the principal questions, issues and challenges arising from the climate crisis and how unions can respond.

Download the guide ( ENFRSP)