Patricia Espinosa said climate change should be included in all school curricula, and urged more countries to include climate education in their NDCs.
The plan is to have a “critical mass” of countries committed to the environmental and climate education agenda by COP 26.
Italy and Mexico have committed to increase climate and environmental education to ensure that a new generation of youth have the knowledge, awareness and skills necessary to address climate change and other environmental challenges, and called on other countries to follow their lead to make environmental education a global phenomenon.
The countries made the commitment in a press conference, held during the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain.
Welcoming the announcement as a key contribution to realizing the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said climate change should be included in all school curricula, and urged more countries to include climate education in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Lorenzo Fioramonti, Minister of Education, Innovation and Research, Italy, underscored that the 50th anniversary edition of Earth Day in 2020 represents an opportunity to recognize the centrality of climate and environmental education, including through “Teach-Ins” to raise awareness, and for countries to announce increased ambition on climate and environmental education.
Martha Delgado, Vice-Minister of Global Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, said her country has incorporated mandatory environmental education in its constitution, and noted that environmental education is critical to achieve the SDGs.
Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network, urged making climate and environmental education compulsory and to link them to civic education.
According to a UNFCCC press release, the plan is to have a “critical mass” of countries committed to the environmental and climate education agenda by the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC, taking place in 2020, in Glasgow, UK. [UNFCCC Press Release] [Earth Day Network Press Release] [UN Press Release]