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Climate and environment literacy ahead of COP-26

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By Ghaamid Abdulbasat

· 3 min read

Climate change as the most impactful risk facing our planet

Climate change has become the ‘most impactful risk’ facing our planet, states the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF’s Global Risks Report 2021 identified climate action failure as the most impactful and second-most likely long term risk facing the world in a year when populations continued to struggle mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report warned that billions across the world were at a heightened risk of missing out on future economic opportunities and the benefits of a resilient global community.

Combined with civic education, climate and environmental literacy will create jobs, build a green consumer market and allow citizens to engage with their governments in a meaningful way to solve climate change.

An education revolution to save the planet

Fifty years ago, the first Earth Day started an environmental revolution. Now, the movement is igniting an education revolution to save the planet. Combining grassroots support and on the ground efforts by students, educators, and nonprofits with national level commitments from Ministries of Education and Environment. Through Climate and Environmental Literacy Campaign, we will ensure that students across the world benefit from high-quality education to develop into informed and engaged environmental stewards.

Through climate and environmental literacy in classrooms, students learn to care for the environment and value sustainable industries as well as green jobs. According to a 2014 study, individuals who value environmentally sustainable practices within a business will positively respond to opportunities for employment with such businesses. Since 92% of young job seekers show an interest in environmentally conscious businesses, businesses might become more successful in their hiring process if their company engages in green initiatives (Hanson-Rasmussen et al., 2014).

EARTHDAY.ORG™ believes every school in the world must have compulsory, assessed climate and environmental education with a strong civic engagement component.

Science matters. We need education and climate literacy to combat denial and face the climate crisis head-on…

says the U.S special Presidential Envoy on Climate, John Kerry

Around the world storms, floods and wildfires are intensifying. Air pollution sadly affects the health of tens of millions of people and unpredictable weather causes untold damage to homes and livelihoods alike. But while the impacts of climate change are devastating, advances in tackling it are leading to cleaner air, creating jobs, restoring nature and at the same time unleashing economic growth, contributing to green economy which underlies the Earth Day 2022 theme.

Despite the opportunities, we are not acting fast enough

To grip this crisis, countries need to join forces urgently

They also agreed to step up efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Ahead of COP26 later this year, by completing and implementing the Paris Agreement in Glasgow, we can show that the world is able to work together to tackle this crucial challenge that faces humanity.

And by uniting behind a green recovery from the Covid-19 Crisis, which creates sustainable jobs and addresses the urgent and linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity loss, we can safeguard the environment for future generations.

Earth Day campaigns in sub Saharan Africa and globally to raise our ambition in creating an environment which illustrates the importance and the potential of climate literacy. This from an individual to a policy level and in understanding the science through education in schools and universities. Many tools and strategies are used; youth mobilisations, Conducting citizen science awareness and ground work using the Global Earth Challenge App and other digital tools, Canopy projects and general empowerment of people around the world to act on their knowledge to build safer, healthier communities.

Let's act now.

illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Energy & Sustainability writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Ghaamid Abdulbasat is an award-winning young environmental activist & entrepreneur from Tanzania. He is a Global National Geographic Young Explorer, a Global High Seas Alliance Ambassador and the organizer of the Earth Day Sub-Saharan Africa initiatives. His research focuses on eco-hydrology and climate issues.

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