COP26: Governments urged to back compulsory climate education and literacy

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


 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.


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

Organization Signatory Title
1 Million Women Natalie Isaacs Founder/CEO
Accelerating Climate Action Renard Siew Co-Founder
Africa Environmental and Health Advancement Network Cordelia Adamu Founder/President
African Climate Reality Project Nicole Rodel Communications Officer
African Climate Reality Project Amy Giliam Branch Manager
AGEREF/CL 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 President
APNEK TUNISIA Youssef kKhelif Président
Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem Jad Isaac Doctor
Aquaworld Paul Ayomide Founder/Team Lead
Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) Najib Saab Secretary General
Arab Network Popular Education (EPEP) Elsy Wakil Coordinator
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 President
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 Founder
Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program Linda Cabot Founder and President
Bulacan State University Dr. Richard Clemente Dean
Bureau for Rights Based Development (BRD) Khan Agha Dawoodzai Executive Director
Campaign for Environmental Literacy Jim Elder Director
Canadian Parents for Climate Action Fiona Koza Founder
Care about Climate Natalie Lucas CEO
Center for Ecoliteracy Adam Kesselman Executive Director
Center for Green Schools at USGBC Anisa Heming Director
Centro Mexicano de Responsabilidad Global CEMERG, A. C. Ney Villamil Secretary General
Change Can Change Climate Change (C5) Foundation Vishnu P R CEO
Cinemaplaneta Eleonora Isunza Co-Director
CLEAN Network Frank Niepold Leadership Board Co-chair
Clean-Tech Republik CIC Hira Wajahat Founder
Climate Action Network Uganda
Climate Cardinals Rohan Arora Executive Board Member and Director of Research and Development
Climate Dads Jason Sandman Co-Founder
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
ClimateMama Harriet Shugarman Executive Director
Club of Rome Sandrine Dixson-Declève Co-president
Club of Rome Mamphela Ramphele Co-president
Communitopia Katie Modic Executive Director
Congolese Youth Biodiversity Network Marie Nancy Chimanuka Member
Conservation Music Lesotho Reekelitsoe Molapo Co-founder
Contact Base Ananya Bhattacharya Secretary
Cork Environmental Forum Bernadette Connolly Coordinator
Design for Change Sanjli Gidwaney Co-Director
E3 Washington Sylvia Hadnot Co-Chair
Earth Uprising International Alexandria Villaseñor Founder and Youth Staff Coordinator
EarthEcho International Philippe Cousteau Founder
EcoAction Arlington Elenor Hodges Executive Director
Eco-Friends AJK Ghaznain Iqbal Co-Founder
Education International David Edwards, PhD General Secretary
EDUCA Iñigo Orvañanos President
EDUCA 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 Member
EURONAT 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 Co-founder
Foundation Earth Randy Hayes Executive Director
Fuji Office Machines FZE Amir Ali CEO
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 Curator
Gray2Green Movement Kelo Uchendu Founder and Lead Strategist
Green Cross Belarus Vladimir Shevtsov Director
Green Hope Kehkashan Basu Founder
Green Our Planet Ciara Byrne Founder and Co-Executive Director
Green society Asmaa Hanafi Founder
Green Vigil Foundation Kaustav Chatterjee Founder
Green Vigil Foundation Surbhi Jaiswal Team Lead
Greenpeace Africa Nhlanhla Sibisi Climate & Energy Campaigner
Guardianes De La Tierra Francisco Javier Vera Manzanares Founder
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 President
Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Xalapa Laura Ruelas-Monjardin Docente
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 Director
Kupu Hawai’i Yvonne Yoro Program Coordinator
Latino Outdoors Luis Villa Executive Director
Labor Network for Sustainability Joe Uehlein President
Let’s Do It India Pankaj Choudhary Founder
Liberian Youth for Climate Actions – LYCA Ezekiel Nyanfor Founder & Executive Director
Malawi National Youth Network on Climate Change( NYNCC). Malango Kayira Member
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 Chairperson
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 Geschäftsführerin
Nikore Associates Mitali Nikore Founder
North American Association for Environmental Education Judy Braus Exectutive Director
NY Sun Works Manuela Zamora Executive Director
Ocean Foundation Mark Spalding President
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
PROCASUR Juan Moreno Director
Poly Prep Country Day School Brian Filiatraut Director of Sustainability
Rachel’s Network Fern Shepard President
REEDUCA Ana Paula Margain León General Coordinator
The Resilient Foundation
Reversible Ruben Cors Co-founder
RJS/Clim Miti Madina Ouattara Bénévol
Rural Environmental Sustainability Initiative Herbert Murungi Operations Director
Sanctuary Nature Foundation, India Bittu Sahgal Founder
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 President-Founder
SEEP Simo Ribaj Chairman
Solar Impulse Foundation Bertrand Piccard Chair
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 President
Sukaar Foundation Gulab Rai Sr. Program Manager
Sustainability and Education Policy Network Marcia McKenzie Director
Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities (SEED4COM) Clarence Gio Almoite Project Coordinator
SustainableOman Agnes Astolfi Founder
SustainableQATAR Katrin Scholz-Barth President
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 Director
The Parents’ Climate Community Eileen McGinnis Founder
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 سيدة
Universidad Técnica de Manabí Dr. Ezequiel Zamora-Ledezma Professor
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 President
Young Earth Savers Club Andy Alegre Member
Young Environmental Forum Ludwig Federigan Executive Director
Young Environmental Forum Elvira Capili Climate Reality Leader
YOUNGO Marie-Claire Graf Co-Focal Point
YOUNGO Heeta Lakhani Co-Focal Point
Youth Action for Success and Development Edward Msiska Executive Director
YOUTH FOR OUR PLANET 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 Founder
(individual) Thomas Lovejoy, PhD Conservation Biologist
(individual) Mark S. McCaffrey Founder of ECOS and Co-founder of CLEAN, the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network.
(individual) Mayor Mary Casillas Salas Mayor Chula Vista, CA
(individual) Mayor Victoria Woodards Mayor Tacoma, WA
(individual) Mayor John Dailey Mayor Tallahassee, FL
(individual) Mayor Jorge Munoz Wells Mayor of Lima
(individual) Mrs. Karla Raquel Taboada Falla Jefa de Educación Ambiental Municipal Government of Lima
(individual) Michelle Wyman Energy, Climate and Environment Expert
(individual) Ricky Kej Composer, music producer and environmentalist
(individual) Brenda Mwale EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Jeancy Kangunza EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Aditya Dubey EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Aditya Mukarji EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Batjargal Ankhtsetseg EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Belgutei Chizorig EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Hemang Vellore EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Ridhima Pandey EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Saddam Sahito EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
(individual) Sidharth Singh, EARTHDAY.ORG Ambassador
We have two links where people and Organisations can sign on:

Sign the letter as your organisation

Sign the letter as an individual:


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