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Education - Enabler of Climate-Change Containment

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October 19, 2021

What is the issue?

Alongside the efforts of nations to combat climate change, it is time to recognise the transformative role that education can play in mitigating climate change.

What is the priority now?

Asia-Pacific region is responsible for nearly half of global GHG emissions.

More than 60% of people in the region work in sectors that are highly susceptible to changing weather patterns.

  • The battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Asia and the Pacific must thus promote a new paradigm of economic development.
  • This should aim at making climate actions into drivers of economic growth that are ecologically sustainable and climate-friendly.
  • Pursuing this requires a fundamental transformation of the mindset and lifestyle of future generations, for which education must become an active agent.

How will education play a transformative role?

Education should aid the transition from effective short-term climate actions to sustained, structural medium- to long-term changes that are underpinned by new mind-sets.

  • Incorporate values such as global citizenry and sustainable development into foundational and formative years of study.
  • Raise self-awareness, enable a cultural transformation
  • Change the mind-sets and lifestyles of future global citizens
  • Making education more responsive in producing experts, innovators, and leaders with understanding on climate change and development challenges. E.g. Greta Thunberg
  • Scaling up learning particularly for disadvantaged and marginalized groups including girls and women.

What does this call for?

  • Re-imagining education to bring about the early-stage mind-set change to prepare future generations.
  • More investment and better quality of expenditure in education.
  • Comprehensive cooperation between central and local governments, schools, universities, communities, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Develop education policies to engage students in sustainable development through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects.

Examples

  • Italy requires all students to take more than 33 hours of climate change classes each year in higher secondary education.
  • Republic of Korea - Projects to transform schools into green campuses to showcase education programs for environmental protection and use eco-friendly energy.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) - Launched the Climate Change Fund in 2008; pursued ways to mainstream climate change issues in education.
  • The Ban Ki-moon (BKM) Foundation For a Better Future is urging governments and the international community to prioritize environmental education, encourage young international leaders and empower women and young people.
  • The ADB and BKM Foundation will collaborate closely to mobilize more partners, resources, and expertise.

 

Source: Livemint

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