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Whole of Society Climate Action

Why Climate Education Matters

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Climate and Education

As the world faces a climate crisis, education must be part of the answer. Climate education equips young people with the knowledge and skills to understand the complexities of climate change and encourages them to become active participants in tackling this global challenge.

London Climate Action Week presents a timely opportunity to highlight education as a powerful tool in tackling the climate crisis and reinforce connections at both a local and global level with leaders across all sectors.

Climate change is a global issue with local solutions. Vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected by climate change. Education equipped with knowledge of climate change can empower communities to build resilience and prepare for climate-related disasters, ultimately saving lives.

What Makes Successful Climate Education

But what makes successful climate education? Here are the five principles that are underpinning our thinking and action:

  1. Integrated and inclusive – multi-disciplinary; across stages and subjects; universal; and relevant to diverse backgrounds and contexts
  2. High quality – age-appropriate and responsive to varied capabilities; based on accurate and evidenced science; supported by effective teaching
  3. Action-orientated – empowering significant action; hopeful; sharing knowledge, understanding and skills enabling learners to make informed career choices
  4. Assessed and recognised – appropriately assessed; valued as an important aspect of progression
  5. Global and Local – in the context of a developing global consensus around climate change, acknowledging  that climate change is experienced differently by locality.

Climate Skills and Knowledge Building

Here in the United Kingdom, Cambridge is calling for the next UK government to appoint an independent review to gather evidence and advise on the climate knowledge and skills young people need and how to embed those in the education system. A recent YouGov survey showed support for this as we found:

  • More than 65 percent of the British public would support a change to the school curriculum to include more content on climate change.
  • Over 70 percent think a greater focus on climate change at school would help students better understand how to tackle it.
  • 58 percent of UK adults thinka focus on climate change would prepare students for jobs in a ‘green economy’.

As part of the University of Cambridge, we are uniquely placed to connect our curriculum and assessment specialists, in topics such as geography, business and engineering, with leading climate researchers and scientists. This collaboration allows us to develop impactful climate change resources, reaching millions of learners.

Learn more about our initiatives and commitment to climate education on our website.

Christine Özden, Global Director of Climate Education at Cambridge University Press & Assessment