COP26: Climate change to be at the heart of education from 2023

The Education Secretary will announce new measures later today to empower more young people to take action to protect the environment and mitigate climate change

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Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is set to announce a range of measures to put climate change at the heart of education in his speech at the COP26 climate summit later today.

The measures aim to empower young people to take action to protect the environment and mitigate climate change.

Teachers will become supported to deliver climate change education through a new model science curriculum set to be in place from 2023 – helping children to learn their impacts on the planet and promote sustainable habits from a young age.

This is in line with today being ‘Youth and Public Empowerment Day’ at COP26 – focusing on getting the next generation involved in tackling the climate crisis.

Children will be encouraged to increase biodiversity in the grounds of their nursery, school or college through the new measures; uploading data onto a new virtual educational nature park, which will see them compete against other schools across the country.

A new climate award will also be announced that will be given to children to recognise their outstanding work to improve the environment and incentivise more young people to take action.

Mr Zahawi said: “We want to deliver a better, safer, greener world for future generations of young people and education is one of our key weapons in the fight against climate change.

“Empowering teachers in every school to deliver world-leading climate change education will not only raise awareness and understanding of the problem but also equips young people with the skills and knowledge to build a sustainable future.

“The COP26 summit has further amplified the UK’s commitments to become a world leader in sustainability right across the education system by engaging young people and bringing them on our journey towards net zero and a green future.

“And it goes beyond the classroom – our National Education Nature Park and Climate Leaders Awards will let pupils get hands on experience of understanding, nurturing and protecting the biodiversity around them.”