According to the Report on the 2022 United Nations’ Transforming Education Summit, over 80 countries plan to include climate education in their national curricula. Now the challenge is to design climate education policy and implementation plans in ways that are ambitious, realistic, and inclusive.
Fortunately, the insights and experiences of trailblazing climate educators provide many of the answers. It is imperative, therefore, that teacher leadership be at the centre of designing and implementing the future of climate education policy at scale.
To ensure that teachers remain at the centre of the world’s educational response to the climate crisis, AKF, in partnership with Teach For All, Dubai Cares and the Learning Planet Institute, co-launched teachersfortheplanet.org during the COP28 RewirED Summit as a new online portal of more than 100 outstanding teacher-led climate education solutions from 60 countries.
Solutions include: a permaculture training programme to support children living on the streets in Uganda; an initiative that supports high school and university students in Cambodia to work with local people living on the Mekong River to tackle environmental issues; and the Planet B project, a user-friendly climate education teaching resource for teachers in Lebanon.
The launch of the online portal took place on the first-ever “Youth, Children, Education and Skills” day at a COP, which focused on placing education at the forefront of the climate agenda by bringing together diverse voices and sectors including heads of state, governments, education leaders, climate scientists, civil society organisations, private sector partners, indigenous communities, youth, and activists.
In partnership with Dubai Cares, AKF supported 20 of the 100 inaugural cohort of the Teachers for the Planet educators to join COP28 as ambassadors of their schools and communities and attend RewirEd Summit to launch the new online portal of climate solutions.
Throughout COP28, members of the Teachers for the Planet delegation were invited into high-level discussions about the future of climate education with partners from the Global Partnership for Education, UNICEF, UNESCO’s Greening Education Partnership, and others.
In partnership with DP World’s Pavilion, the Teachers for the Planet cohort engaged in a Policy-Practice Think Tank about the Future of Climate Education. Seven teachers from Tanzania, Italy, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Kenya, and India shared lightning talks about their approach to climate education in and through collective leadership from their contexts. Rewatch the live event here (starting at 44:00 for the teacher spotlights):
Dr. Andrew Cunningham, AKF’s Global Lead for Education, said: “How might we support teaching as one of the most important green jobs in the world, on which all other future green jobs will depend? It is clear from COP28 and the RewirED Summit that teachers and their learners are essential to supporting education as a planetary strategy for effective climate adaptation and mitigation. We are excited that teachersfortheplanet.org offers a concrete way for elevating the voices and insights of climate educators so that they can play a central and vital role in informing and shaping climate education policy at scale.”
At launch, the online portal hosts 100 climate education solutions. The next step is to grow this to 1,000 or more over the next year. Are you an exceptional educator or educational leader working to address the climate crisis in your classroom, school or community? If so, the website is now open for submissions.