On March 15 over 1.4 million students in 2233 cities and towns in 128 countries skipped classes to demonstrate and demand action against climate change.
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish student who started a ‘lonely’ protest last August in front of the Swedish Parliament, has now prompted a global movement called FridaysForFuture. She believes no one is too small to make a difference.
In an inspiring Tedx Talk, Greta said, “the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change”. That is true.
There is no planet B
See some of the best posters and signs from the youth climate marches.
Education can play a role in caring for the environment and in mitigating and adapting to the consequences of climate change. This was established long ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The summit, under Agenda 21, adopted a declaration that said: “Education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues. While basic education provides the underpinning for any environmental and development education, the latter needs to be incorporated as an essential part of learning”.
Climate change education is part of UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) program. In 2014 UNESCO launched the Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD, with an aim to make climate change education a more central and visible part of the international response to climate change.
UNESCO’s Not Just Hot Air: Putting Climate Change Education into Practice, published in 2015, is by far the most strategic report on climate change and education.
But the work to put into practice its recommendations is slow. A policy paper by the Global Education Monitoring Report, Textbooks Pave the Way to Sustainable Development, found that in 2016 only 30% of textbooks mentioned climate change as an issue.