COP 25: Educators firmly commit to helping address the climate emergency

published 11 December 2019 updated 13 December 2019

Speaking at the 25th United Nations Conference on Climate Change, Education International reiterated its resolve to contribute to solving the climate crisis, tackling the climate emergency from the classroom.

Delivering the pledge to the 25th United Nations Conference on Climate Change(COP 25) in the name of Education International (EI), Manuela Mendonça, International Secretary of the Federaçao Nacional dos Professores(FENPROF) and member of the EI Executive Board, warned that the climate crisis, the greatest threat to our planet and the very existence of humanity, must be tackled on all fronts, from homes and classrooms to government offices.

Educators worldwide are united and mobilised against climate change

“As teachers and educators, we commit to address the climate emergency in our classrooms,” Mendonça told participants attending the high-level event on action for climate empowerment on 10 December.

Education International will mobilise teachers and educators to green their education institutions, to promote sustainable lifestyles and to teach about climate change, its causes, consequences and solutions to the crisis. EI will also continue to stand with students in demanding climate action and justice now.

“We will also support our 32.5 million members by providing tools and capacity building workshops to help teachers, educators and their unions harness the power of education to combat climate change,” Mendonça highlighted.

Education International further commits to work with international organisations to implement global tools, and monitor progress made towards sustainable development and climate change education.

Earlier this year, EI declared a climate emergency in education “because we cannot harness the power of education on our own,” Mendonça stressed, adding that it is vitally important that governments take the lead and demonstrate clear political will, commitment and action to address the climate emergency. Governments need to reduce their countries’ carbon emissions drastically and immediately in order to meet the 1.5°C Paris target, and must commit to and ensure a just transition.

Climate change education must be a key element in education systems

The pledge concludes: “As teachers and educators, we call on governments to ensure that climate change education is a core element of the curriculum, right from early childhood to university. Climate change education must be part of initial teacher education and continuous professional development. Supportive education systems are vital for teachers and educators to be able to help their students to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to take action for a sustainable future.”

You can download the Guide for education unions and educators “Education, a powerful tool for combatting climate change”.