Calling on Governments to Commit to Urgent Action on Climate and Environmental Literacy at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UKCombined with Civic Education, Climate Literacy will create jobs, build a green consumer market, and allow citizens to engage with their governments in a meaningful way to solve climate change
Dear Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Signatories to the Paris Agreement Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:
We, the undersigned, call on governments to commit to taking bold action on climate and environmental literacy. 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.
It has also impeded efforts to teach citizens the civic skills that they need to fully participate in their national, state, and local government decision-making process, undermining the rights of citizens to take action to protect themselves, their children, and the health of the planet.
Next year, governments will meet at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK to raise ambition under the UN’s Paris Climate Change Agreement. That stepped-up action must include climate and environmental literacy.
It is time for governments to show leadership by agreeing to ambitious plans that will equip primary and secondary students everywhere with the knowledge and the skills they need in a rapidly changing world.
• In doing so, a new generation will be able to make the best and most environmentally informed choices on the way they live, work and participate in government while providing a climate literate workforce needed to build the new, stronger and sustainable economy vital in the 21st century.
• In doing so, leaders can help ensure that the first generation of truly climate literate and civically active citizens will be able to hold governments, states, regions, cities, and businesses accountable for their actions.
We, the undersigned, urge governments at COP 26 to deliver an outcome that gives climate literacy the same importance as any other key subject by strengthening the aims, ambitions, and aspirations of Action for Climate Empowerment, Article 12 of the Paris Agreement.
• We, the undersigned, request governments to make climate education compulsory, assessed and linked to civic engagement. By civic engagement we mean students will be taught the necessary skills to take an active role in shaping the future of their communities and our planet.
• While every country must be free to choose their roadmap for implementing climate literacy, we believe that climate and environmental literacy requires that these subjects be fully integrated and embedded across all grade levels and disciplines.
• We also urge governments to find ways and means to advance climate literacy at home, and support poorer countries’ efforts to meet their climate education goals.