“The children of today overwhelmingly understand the need for urgent [climate] action,” and world leaders must do more to ensure that education is equipping the future generations of climate stewards.
Max McCabe, Chief Operating Officer at the Education Outcomes Fund, reflected on the recent COP26 summit in a recent op-ed published by WISE. While the announcement of the integration of climate change learning for formal education and professional training modules was a good first step, “leaders must now be much bolder by recognizing the central role that education must play in developing long-term climate solutions.”
Mr. McCabe highlighted the current deficit between world leaders’ promises to combat climate change, and the measurable actions that follow by speaking about the need to train the “green workforce of tomorrow.” Mr. McCabe noted that educating and training for the green jobs of the future are the “key to building a sustainable long-term climate policy.”
The urgent action needed for the climate crisis is being increasingly felt by school children, with many students taking action in the form of climate strikes around the world. Mr. McCabe stressed that “while their efforts must be lauded, we must find ways to help them make their voices heard in school.”
We must take direct action now to curb the impact on students, especially for girls. Citing the Malala Fund, Mr. McCabe emphasized that 12.5 million girls won’t finish their education due to “climate change-related factors by 2025.” Investing in education, alongside moving towards a sustainable future, is critical to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep children in quality learning.
Climate education is a vital component of empowering the next generation and giving them the tools that they need to create a more sustainable future. We know that education can serve as the bridge between global ambition and real-world results but what is now needed from world leaders is “more action and less words.”
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