Recent UNESCO findings show that around half of the 100 countries reviewed had no climate change mentioned in their national curriculum frameworks. While 95% of surveyed teachers felt teaching climate change is important, less than 30% felt ready to teach about climate change in relation to their local context. With 75% of youth saying that they are frightened about their future, young people were at the forefront at COP26 in Glasgow and the pre-COP Youth4Climate event in Milan in 2021, calling upon governments to change education systems to ensure every learner is empowered with the needed knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to lead the green social transformation.
Starting with the Greening Learning action area of the Greening Education Partnership launched during the Transforming Education Summit in New York (September 2022), UNESCO organized a series of survey and consultations targeting young people to document their needs and demands on climate change education. The findings showed that 70% of the surveyed youth cannot explain climate change in detail, or do not know anything about it. Yet, 91% of the respondents want to have more climate change taught at school, across the curriculum, through experiential, solution-driven and action-oriented approaches to benefit from true quality climate education.
The new UNESCO publication titled ‘Youth Demand Quality Climate Change Education’ will be launched on the occasion of Youth Day, 10th November, and UNESCO will organize a technical panel discussion to deep-dive into key findings on the report. In particular, recommendations from speakers on translating youth asks into concrete actions with an emphasis on curriculum guideline will be discussed.