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Press Release | Earth Day: Teachers from Every Corner of the World Call for Quality Climate Change Education for All in Launch of Global Campaign

Representing 32.5 million teachers and education support personnel worldwide, Education International launches worldwide campaign April 21st to ensure that climate education becomes as fundamental as teaching reading and writing.

Climate action is more urgent than ever and education is a powerful fundamental tool to catalyse it. If humanity is to avoid the worst consequences of global warming and fast forward the green, clean and sustainable societies of tomorrow today, it has to start at school.

This is why teachers across the world are coming together to ensure that quality climate education for all becomes a priority in every corner of the planet, and that governments commit to working with educators and their unions to make climate education as fundamental as teaching reading and writing.

“The fight against climate change must have an education face and a teacher’s voice in every area of the world. The planet is in crisis and I strongly believe that teachers and educators have a critical role to play in combating the environmental destruction, human suffering and social injustice that will certainly occur if climate change continues at current rates,” stated Susan Hopgood, Education International President.


The Global Education Summit

Education International will launch its campaign with the Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit. Taking place on 21 April from 1 to 4 pm CEST, the multilingual virtual event will feature inspiring teachers, student leaders, prominent activists, engaged ministers, and examples from every continent focused on the crucial role that educators and their unions play in combating climate change and why we need transformative climate education now.

The event will also introduce Education International’s Manifesto on Quality Climate Change Education for All. The Manifesto outlines the teaching profession’s vision for quality climate change education and the policy framework necessary to implement it.

“Teachers know that the most important long-term investment our societies can make towards a sustainable future is ensuring every student is literate about climate science and equipped with the civic knowledge and skills to change course,” explained David Edwards, Education International General Secretary.

These are the principles of the Education International Manifesto:

  1. Governments commit to quality climate change education (CCE) for all, and ensure education unions, student organisations, and indigenous groups are part of the development, implementation, and evaluation of CCE policies.
  2. Every student leaves education climate-literate and equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle climate change, adapt to uncertainties, and take part in building a more sustainable future.
  3. Quality climate change education is based on science, and addresses the ethical, cultural, political, social and economic dimensions of climate change.
  4. Teachers are trained and supported to provide quality climate change education.
  5. Schools and learning environments are transformed, to support quality climate change education.

“All world leaders must commit to creating the necessary educational space and resources so that students learn the world’s most important lesson. In launching this campaign, the world’s educators are determined to realise our students’ rights to know, do and… exist,” Edwards added.


Three days of climate action

The Global Education Summit is part of a series of events marking Earth Week. In collaboration with EARTHDAY.ORG, the events will bring together the voices of teachers, students, activists and climate justice advocates from around the world. While the Global Education Summit will tackle the topic of climate literacy, two other events taking place on 20 and 21 April will focus on environmental justice and a broad range of youth-led climate-focused issues.


Mobilising for COP 26

Education International’s transformative climate education campaign will continue throughout the year. The campaign will culminate at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November 2021. Education International will call on world leaders to make ambitious commitments to reduce carbon emissions, prioritise social justice and a just transition in their climate change responses, and provide climate change education for all.



Rebeca Logan | rebeca.logan@ei-ie.org