Glasgow, Nov 5: With COP26 in full swing, now is the critical time for countries to commit to and prioritize formal climate education as a strategy to combat the climate crisis.
EARTHDAY.ORG and Education International have both conducted independent research reports that concluded that every country has failed when it comes to thoroughly addressing climate education and/or climate literacy in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The climate crisis is the greatest threat facing humanity and the planet. With little time left to reverse the current course, climate education has the power to prepare students on how to evaluate risk, make responsible consumer decisions and adapt to a rapidly changing economy.
EARTHDAY.ORG's Climate Literacy Campaign and Education International's Teach for the Planet Campaign have been working closely together to transform education systems around the globe to ensure that students benefit from high-quality education in order to develop into informed and engaged environmental stewards.
"Like any student on the brink of failing a class, this is the time for countries to get their act together. We are in the middle of a climate catastrophe -- no country is safe from its impacts. We cannot afford any country to fail on climate change education. Let's all mobilise, from teachers and students to the international community, so that all countries can make the grade," said Researcher Christina Kwauk.
"The time to act is now. The climate crisis is not something we can overcome without education. Governments must ensure quality climate change education that is based on science and empowers all students for climate action and climate justice. To make this happen, teachers must be consulted and involved, and education systems must be transformed. The next COP may very well be too late," said Susan Hopgood, Education International President.
"The signs couldn't be more clear. Climate change is posing an existential threat to humanity and exposing how weak of a foundation we have to address this threat. Climate literacy is the glue that can build a new foundation -- one which can bring about a more just and sustainable world."
"Now, every country must commit to climate literacy, and everyone must be involved to generate this transformation," said Rachel Weisbrot, Education and Communications Manager, EARTHDAY.ORG.
"Climate and environmental literacy is a critical component of the universal fight against climate change. We must instill the next generation with the tools and knowledge to fight environmental degradation and be prepared to build our green economic future. Every country must urgently step up their climate education commitments -- our future depends on it," said Kathleen Rogers, President, EARTHDAY.ORG.