Campaign Urges Governments at Next Year's UN Climate Conference to Back Compulsory Climate Education and Literacy

Urgent Action Needed to Equip All Youth with the Knowledge and Skills Needed to Join Green Economy

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — EARTHDAY.ORG today launched a global campaign aimed at ensuring that all students receive quality, wide-ranging, climate education in schools across all grade levels and disciplines.

The campaign encourages governments attending the crucial United Nations climate summit in 2021 to make climate change and climate literacy a core feature of school curriculum across the globe. In addition to EARTHDAY.ORG, early backers range from trade unions and teachers’ unions to environmental organizations, NGOs, and Mayors from around the globe such as the International Trades Union Confederation, National Wildlife Federation, and Labor Network for Sustainability.

"At COP26, we need stepped up action and ambition right across the Paris Agreement, and that includes ambition in respect to climate education. We need to better educate our children and youth on the science and the risks, but also the excitement of building a better world; generating more good jobs in sustainable businesses and the benefits of being greener consumers and more active citizens. I welcome this global initiative and look forward to it stimulating excitement and enthusiasm among all governments and all sectors of society," said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Backers believe the campaign is a critical step to bridge a cavernous gap in society’s response to humanity’s greatest existential challenge.

"Climate and environmental literacy is a key component to protect the planet," Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, Coordinator of the Sector of Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

David Edwards, the General Secretary of Education International, the largest federation of teachers’ trades unions, said, "Climate change is the most important issue humanity faces today. Our 32 million members all over the planet have repeatedly raised the alarm, together with youth and students. Our World Congress last year passed a resolution calling for education systems to ensure comprehensive climate change education—that is not happening, and we need to change it."

Climate education can also help foster a new generation of citizens with the interest and the skills needed for jobs in a growing green economy, to make better, sustainable consumer choices and to hold governments — both national and local — accountable for their decisions.

Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG which is one of the key organizations behind the campaign, said, "An educated and civically active citizenry is the best bet the world has for overcoming the climate and environmental emergency. It is the key to building strong communities, an engaged workforce, and the sustainable economies needed for the 21st Century. It has to start in schools, and it has to start now. Together, we can change this."

Rogers praised the governments of Italy and Mexico for stepping up their ambition in advance of COP26 with measures that underline some of the bold, far-reaching changes needed.

"The goal for all governments at COP26 in the UK next year is clear. Compulsory and assessed climate education is required linked with real-life civic engagement — so what is taught in the classroom is reinforced by real world experience whether it be learning how to install solar panels on a school roof or restoring a degraded forest and will flow out into our companies and higher education institutions," said Kathleen Rogers.

In a letter to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa and governments, the campaigners concede that every country must be free to choose their roadmap for implementing climate literacy.

"We also urge governments to find ways and means to advance climate literacy at home and support poorer countries’ efforts to meet their climate education goals," says the letter.

"Introducing civics and climate literacy tools in the classroom can help those most affected by climate change, the vulnerable and marginalized communities, by building knowledge and skills for the growing green economy," said Kathleen Rogers

Increased Climate Education Backed by Scientists

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier in 2020, researchers argue that education is one of the key social tipping points to realize the aim of stabilizing the Earth’s climate by 2050.

The researchers, drawn from centers in Africa, Europe and the United States, state, "These social tipping interventions comprise removing fossil-fuel subsidies and incentivizing decentralized energy generation, building carbon-neutral cities, divesting from assets linked to fossil fuels, revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels, strengthening climate education and engagement, and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions information."

Wide-Spread Public Support

There are strong indications of wide-spread public support for a dramatic step up in climate education and literacy, including in schools, worldwide.

A survey by World Wide Views, conducted in close to 80 countries before the 2015 Summit that adopted the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement, found that close to 80 percent of those questioned thought climate education was the strongest policy for reducing emissions followed by action to protect tropical forests.

Earlier this month the views of the UK citizens climate assembly, with people drawn from all walks of life, were announced on how they thought the country could achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The citizens proposed many direct measures such as taxing frequent flyers and reducing red meat consumption, but the overarching recommendation was information and education.

Nations meet in the Scottish city of Glasgow in November 2021 to raise ambition across the areas of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Climate education falls under Article 12 of the Agreement known as Action for Climate Empowerment.

Notes to Editors

EARTHDAY.ORG is driving the campaign for increased climate education and literacy. Learn more here: 

The sign-up letter that will be presented to Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and the more than 190 governments or ‘Parties’ attending COP26, can be signed here: 

For more information on Action for Climate Empowerment, which includes education, please visit:

List of Campaign Supporters




1 Million Women

Natalie Isaacs


Accelerating Climate Action

Renard Siew


Africa Environmental and Health Advancement Network

Cordelia Adamu


African Climate Reality Project

Nicole Rodel

Communications Officer 

African Climate Reality Project 

Amy Giliam

Branch Manager


Mamadou Karama

Secrétaire Exécutif

Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE)

Gareth Thomson

Executive Director

Alliance for Climate Education, ACE

Reb Anderson

Director of Education

Alliance for Climate Education, ACE

Maayan Cohen

Director of Partnerships and Campaigns 

Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.

Sarah Stewart



Youssef kKhelif


Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem

Jad Isaac



Paul Ayomide

Founder/Team Lead

Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED)

Najib Saab

Secretary General

Arab Network Popular Education (EPEP)

Elsy Wakil


Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar

Neeshad Shafi

Executive Director

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Cathie Granit

Program Director

Asociacion Peru Sembrando Vida

Mrs. Mafalda Leguia


Association of Science and Technology Center

Cristin Dorgelo

President and CEO

Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Dan Ashe

President and CEO

Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Amy Rutherford

Director, Professional Development & Education

Australian Parents for Climate Action

Suzie Brown

National Director

Bibi Productions

Bibi Russell


Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program

Linda Cabot

Founder and President

Bulacan State University

Dr. Richard Clemente


Bureau for Rights Based Development (BRD)

Khan Agha Dawoodzai

Executive Director

Campaign for Environmental Literacy

Jim Elder


Canadian Parents for Climate Action

Fiona Koza


Care about Climate

Natalie Lucas


Center for Ecoliteracy

Adam Kesselman

Executive Director

Center for Green Schools at USGBC

Anisa Heming


Centro Mexicano de Responsabilidad Global CEMERG, A. C.

Ney Villamil

Secretary General

Change Can Change Climate Change (C5) Foundation

Vishnu P R



Eleonora Isunza


CLEAN Network

Frank Niepold

Leadership Board Co-chair

Clean-Tech Republik CIC

Hira Wajahat


Climate Action Network Uganda

Climate Cardinals

Rohan Arora

Executive Board Member and Director of Research and Development

Climate Dads

Jason Sandman


Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Kristen Poppleton

Senior Director of Programs

Climate Reality Leadership Corps

Arby Paulyn Rae Duero

Climate Reality Leader

Climate Reality Project

Kenneth Berlin

President and CEO 

Climate Strike Thailand 


Harriet Shugarman

Executive Director

Club of Rome

Sandrine Dixson-Declève 


Club of Rome

Mamphela Ramphele



Katie Modic

Executive Director

Congolese Youth Biodiversity Network

Marie Nancy Chimanuka


Conservation Music Lesotho

Reekelitsoe Molapo


Contact Base

Ananya Bhattacharya


Cork Environmental Forum

Bernadette Connolly


Design for Change

Sanjli Gidwaney


E3 Washington

Sylvia Hadnot


Earth Uprising International 

Alexandria Villaseñor

Founder and Youth Staff Coordinator

EarthEcho International

Philippe Cousteau


EcoAction Arlington

Elenor Hodges

Executive Director

Eco-Friends AJK

Ghaznain Iqbal


Education International

David Edwards, PhD

General Secretary


Iñigo Orvañanos



Monica Cinco

General Director

Enab Baladi

Masoud Betar

PR Officer

Environment America

Andrea McGimsey

Sr. Director, Global Warming Solutions Campaign

Environment America

Wendy Wendlandt

Acting President

Environment Savers of Zambia

Enock Mwewa

Executive Director

Environmental Citizenship Program

Mahnaz Kadhemi



Guenther Seidel

European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)

Tanya Bascombe

Joint General Manager

Fondo para la Comunicación y la Educación Ambiental, A.C.

Teresa Gutiérrez

Foreldreløftet (Parents’ Pledge)

Veslemøy Klavenes-Berge


Foundation Earth

Randy Hayes

Executive Director

Fuji Office Machines FZE

Amir Ali


Fundación Moisés Bertoni

Raquel Fratta

Lider de Iniciativas para la Nueva Economía

FutureSavers Sustainable Development Initiative Nigeria

Bernard Ogechi Destiny

Regional Supervisor

Global Shapers New Delhi Hub

Mitali Nikore


Gray2Green Movement

Kelo Uchendu

Founder and Lead Strategist

Green Cross Belarus

Vladimir Shevtsov


Green Hope

Kehkashan Basu


Green Our Planet

Ciara Byrne

Founder and Co-Executive Director

Green society

Asmaa Hanafi


Green Vigil Foundation

Kaustav Chatterjee


Green Vigil Foundation

Surbhi Jaiswal

Team Lead

Greenpeace Africa

Nhlanhla Sibisi

Climate & Energy Campaigner

Guardianes De La Tierra

Francisco Javier Vera Manzanares


Happy Community Organization

James Njuguna

Executive Director

Hip Hop Caucus

Rev Yearwood

President and Founder

Ibdaa Foundation for the Environment and Sustainable Development

Dr. Yaser Baazab

Institute for Environmental Policy-Albania

Endri Haxhiraj

Executive Director

Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania

Genti Kromidha


Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Xalapa

Laura Ruelas-Monjardin


International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges- IAAI GloCha

Miroslav Polzer

Executive Director

International Trades Union Confederation

Sharon Burrow

General Secretary

International Youth Council – Yemen

Ala Mustafa Al-Rabeei

Environment & Climate Change Program Coordinator

IvyPlus Network, India

Kabataang Lingkod Bayan ng Pilipinas

Raiza Mae Togado

Deputy National Secretary General

King’s Centre for Visualization in Science

Peter Mahaffy


Kupu Hawai’i

Yvonne Yoro

Program Coordinator

Latino Outdoors

Luis Villa

Executive Director

Labor Network for Sustainability

Joe Uehlein


Let’s Do It India

Pankaj Choudhary


Liberian Youth for Climate Actions – LYCA

Ezekiel Nyanfor

Founder & Executive Director

Malawi National Youth Network on Climate Change( NYNCC).

Malango Kayira


Mass Audubon

Kristen Scopinich

Director of Education and Engagement

Moms Clean Air Force

Molly Rauch

Public Health Policy Director

Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust

Carl Bruessow

Executive Director

National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal

Daya Sagar Shrestha


National Center for Science Education

Ann Reid

Executive Director

National Children’s Campaign

Kimberly Gutzler

Co-Founder and President

National Council for the Social Studies

Lawrence Paska

National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation – NNOCCI

Lauren Watkins, PhD

2021 Executive Chair

National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation – NNOCCI

Emily Moberg, PhD

2020 Executive Chair

National Wildlife Federation

Kevin Coyle

Counsel to the President and CEO

Netzwerk Schweizer Pärke

Dominique Weissen


Nikore Associates

Mitali Nikore


North American Association for Environmental Education

Judy Braus

Exectutive Director

NY Sun Works

Manuela Zamora

Executive Director

Ocean Foundation

Mark Spalding


Our Kids’ Climate

Frida Berry Eklund

Founder and Senior Adviser

Parents for Climate Aotearoa

Alicia Hall

National Coordinator

Parents for Climate Israel

Parents for Climate Israel

Parents for Climate Poland

Parents for Future Germany

Parents for Future Global

Parents for Future UK


Juan Moreno


Poly Prep Country Day School

Brian Filiatraut

Director of Sustainability

Rachel’s Network

Fern Shepard



Ana Paula Margain León

General Coordinator

The Resilient Foundation 


Ruben Cors



Miti Madina Ouattara


Rural Environmental Sustainability Initiative

Herbert Murungi

Operations Director

Sanctuary Nature Foundation, India

Bittu Sahgal


Sangguniang Kabataan

Marian Jule Cedeno

Sangguniang Kabataan Federated President

SAVE Foundation

Waltraud Kugler

Project Director

Schools for Climate Action

Nancy Metzger-Carter

Lead Teacher

Sea Cleaners

Yvan Bourgnon



Simo Ribaj


Solar Impulse Foundation

Bertrand Piccard


Soluciones Turisticas Sostenibles STS CR SA

Roberto Emilio Baca Plazaola

Soluciones Turisticas Sostenibles STS CR SA

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and William C. Velasquez Institute

Lydia Camarillo


Sukaar Foundation

Gulab Rai

Sr. Program Manager

Sustainability and Education Policy Network

Marcia McKenzie


Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities (SEED4COM)

Clarence Gio Almoite

Project Coordinator


Agnes Astolfi



Katrin Scholz-Barth


Take Action Global

Koen Timmers

Executive Director

Tanzania youth biodiversity network

Zuhura Ahmad

Biodiversity conservation

Tanzania Youth Biodiversity Network

Rhoda Chausa

Organization Representative

Techno India Group / Y-East

Pauline Laravoire

Sustainability Director

The Community Check-Up

Rohan Arora

Founder & Executive Director

The Eroteme

Ronnel Franco Landrito

The Global W.E./Global Warming Express

Genie Stevens

Executive Director

The Green Guerrilla

Melissa Tan

The Hunger Project Mexico

Diana Delgadillo Ramírez

Manager of Advocacy in Public Policy

The Ianna Mallayka Foundation

Mallayka Oddenyo


The Parents’ Climate Community

Eileen McGinnis


The Shri Ram school

Aditya Mukarji

Secretary Environment

Timorese Youth Initiative for Development 

Together to protect Human & the Environment Association

Saadiyah Hassoon

General Director

Union of Agricultural Work Committees

دعاء زايد


Universidad Técnica de Manabí

Dr. Ezequiel Zamora-Ledezma


Utpravan YF

Våra barns klimat

Sofia Bernett

Head of Operations

We Don’t Have Time

Ingmar Rentzhog

Founder and CEO

We Mean to Clean 

Women and Gender Constituency

Bridget Burns

Co-focal point

Women and Gender Constituency

Ndivile Mokoena

Co-focal point

YES- Young European Socialists

Alícia Homs Ginel



Hemang Vellore


Young Earth Savers Club

Andy Alegre


Young Environmental Forum

Ludwig Federigan

Executive Director

Young Environmental Forum

Elvira Capili

Climate Reality Leader


Marie-Claire Graf 

Co-Focal Point


Heeta Lakhani

Co-Focal Point

Youth Action for Success and Development

Edward Msiska

Executive Director


Maurice Munga

Regional Mobiliser for Africa

Youth For Our Planet Africa

Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines

Jefferson Estela

Lead Convenor

Yuvsatta (youth for peace)

Parmod Sharma



Thomas Lovejoy, PhD

Conservation Biologist


Mark S. McCaffrey

Founder of ECOS and Co-founder of CLEAN, the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network. 


Mayor Mary Casillas Salas

Mayor Chula Vista, CA


Mayor Victoria Woodards

Mayor Tacoma, WA


Mayor John Dailey

Mayor Tallahassee, FL


Mayor Jorge Munoz Wells 

Mayor of Lima


Mrs. Karla Raquel Taboada Falla 

Jefa de Educación Ambiental Municipal Government of Lima


Michelle Wyman 

Energy, Climate and Environment Expert 


Ricky Kej

Composer, music producer and environmentalist


Brenda Mwale



Jeancy Kangunza



Aditya Dubey



Aditya Mukarji



Batjargal Ankhtsetseg



Belgutei Chizorig



Hemang Vellore



Ridhima Pandey



Saddam Sahito



Sidharth Singh,


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Source: Campaign Urges Governments at Next Year's UN Climate Conference to Back Compulsory Climate Education and Literacy