Italy Becomes the First Country to Require Schools to Teach Climate Change

Italy will be the first in the world to make climate change and sustainable development a mandatory part of school curricula next year, Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti announced Tuesday. All state schools will be required to spend 33 hours per year, roughly one hour per school week, studying climate change issues. The new program will be implemented in September 2020 at the beginning of the new school year.

Education plays a crucial part in the global response to climate change, according to UN agency UNESCO. When young people learn about the impact of climate change they are equipped to address the issue, change their attitudes and behavior and adapt to the climate-affected world. 

What children learn today will shape tomorrow’s world. Climate Change Education
for Sustainable Development (CCESD), therefore, has a central role to play in helping
the general public and especially the next generations understand and relate to the
issues, make lifestyle changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adapt to the
changing local conditions. While CCESD at all levels and in both formal and non-formal settings is needed, instilling climate change awareness and understanding at a young age is ultimately the best way to change behaviours and attitudes. To ensure relevance and uptake, CCESD should be oriented according to the local context and prioritize passing traditional knowledge and practices to learners.

https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development/cce

Source https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/italy-climate-change-compulsory-public-schools/

Source https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development/cce

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