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Open Letter to President Biden on Earth Day 2021

Open letter from the world's educators to President Biden as he convenes the Leaders Summit on Climate on 22 April 2021.

Dear President Biden,    
Today, as you convene for the Earth Day Climate Summit, Education International urges you and all world leaders to recognise education as a key tool to combat climate change and include climate change education as a crucial component in your climate commitments.  
Education International is the Global Union Federation that represents teachers and other education employees. With 384 member organisations in 178 countries and territories representing more than 32.5 million education workers, Education International is the voice of educators around the world.  
Yesterday, Education International launched the Education International Manifesto on Quality Climate Change Education for All, a policy document that lays out the key components of quality climate change education and the actions that need to be taken by governments to implement it.  
Our Manifesto is focused around 5 key points:  
  • Governments commit to ensure quality climate change education for all.  
  • Every student leaves education climate-literate and equipped to build a more sustainable future. 
  • Quality climate change education is based on science and has a social justice and civic action focus.  
  • Teachers are trained and supported to provide quality climate change education.  
  • Schools and learning environments are transformed, to support quality climate change education.  
Progress to meet international commitments on climate education has been lagging. If we are to achieve the ambitious goals set out in both the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, it is crucial that governments step up efforts to make quality climate change education universal. Education and training, as part of the Action for Climate Empowerment strategy, must be included in all updated nationally determined contributions ahead of the UN Conference of the Parties (COP 26). Furthermore, detailed, timebound plans must be developed and implemented for the inclusion of climate change education in curricula, teacher training, and professional development, ensuring that all students leave school climate literate. 
Students have a right to gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to sustain our world for present and future generations, and they have the right to receive an education which prepares them for the world of work in a green economy. Educators recognise this right and understand that it is our responsibility to take action to ensure that it is fulfilled. Through our campaign, Teach for the Planet, we will continue to work together with students and communities to advocate for the transformation of our education systems to be fit for purpose in a world impacted by the climate crisis.  
Time is running out to reverse the current course towards climate catastrophe. As the voice of educators, Education International urges you to listen to the profession and take decisive action to provide quality climate change education for all now.   
Yours sincerely,  
David Edwards 
General Secretary, Education International