According to the authors of a recent report, humanity needs to “take a cold shower” about the true scale of the climate and ecological crisis facing us. Experts need to “tell it like it is.” ‘Anything else is misleading at best, or negligent and potentially lethal for the human enterprise at worst.’ Then we might make the systemic changes that the urgency of the situation demands. There are signs of progress. And if you are reading this you are probably already doing what you can personally. But do read the report so that you are under no illusions. Then ask yourself what you can do to help persuade businesses and politicians make those necessary changes.
In these days of Covid-19 it may feel that demands to respond to the climate and ecological crisis are just another burden. But Covid-19 has also provided us with time and opportunity to consider a better future while many of the solutions to Covid-19 also offer solutions to climate change. So let’s use this time wisely to make the changes we need to help our industry come out of Covid-19 fit for the future.
Congratulations to everyone involved in Mock COP 26, the virtual climate change discussions organised by young people in the absence of this year’s postponed climate talks in Glasgow. The result is the Mock COP Treaty which on education states:
14. Article 12 of the Paris Agreement commits the Parties to cooperate in scaling up and strengthening climate education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information on climate change.
15. Education on climate change and biodiversity, based on the best available science and data, needs to be made available at schools and educational establishments at every level, including informal education. School, college and university buildings and estates must lead by example on sustainability as they form the subliminal curriculum.
16. The Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action prepared in 2019 by the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (‘CERI’), the United Nations International Children’s Fund (‘UNICEF’) and YOUNGO (the Children and Youth constituency to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), already signed by twelve countries, underlines the call for climate change and environmental education, and children’s rights, including the right to a healthy environment.
That is a very useful and clear statement of what needs to happen – indeed should already be happening – in education. Let’s make sure we act on it.