How Different Stakeholders Can Promote Education for Climate Action?

Many scientific pieces of research have shown that the earth’s climate system has changed since the pre-industrial era and these changes are attributable to human activities. Climate change is a serious problem at the global level. This problem is also affecting various sectors including, health, agriculture, nature, etc. An effective strategy is required to reduce the risks of climate change and it should include both adaptation and mitigation. 

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. We too believe that education is an important factor in the ever more urgent global fight against climate change. It helps people understand and tackle the consequences of global warming, encourages them to change their behavior, and helps them to adapt to the global emergency.

Education, especially when focused on children and young people, is a key factor in helping to restrict climate change. In the past few years, various initiatives have been launched in that direction. Prominent among them are 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations since 2012. One of them, number 13 is entitled “Climate Action”. 

But what is environmental literacy? Basically it means educating citizens, especially children, and raising their awareness regarding the causes and consequences of climate change. All the positive changes for climate action require a coalition of actors exerting their influence. Adaptation of certain factors in climate action is an issue of relevance and interest to a wide range of stakeholders. Their engagement and participation can greatly support the cause. Therefore it is important to understand who the keyholders are and what is the role of stakeholders in promoting education for climate action.

Girls Education & Climate Change

Girls are the most impacted by natural and man-made disasters. In times of adversities, there is always an increased risk for girls in the form of violence and exploitation. To tackle climate change, it’s important to eradicate gender inequalities and empower our girls and women.  

If #GirlsGoBackToSchool, they can help reverse climate change in 2 ways:

  1. The school will expose our girl children to the current climate issues and challenges. Being aware, they can raise awareness about this issue, and protect themselves and others from the evils of a changing climate.
  2. Educated girls can tomorrow hold leadership positions, proving instrumental in introducing and reversing climate change.

How Different Stakeholders Can Promote Education for Climate Action?

1. Educators & Education Leaders

Recent research shows that if only 16% of high-school students in high and middle-income countries were to receive a climate change education, we could see a nearly 19 gigaton reduction of carbon dioxide by 2050. When education helps students to evolve a strong personal connection to climate solutions, as well as a sense of personal influence and empowerment, it can have a consequential impact on students’ day-to-day behaviors and choices that reduces their lifetime carbon footprint. 

Now the task is upon the educators and the education leaders to form strategies that can meet these requirements. It’s their responsibility to incorporate methods to educate, empower, and engage all the students and major groups on policies and actions relating to climate change. They should act as global advocates aiming to strengthen the capacities of governments to provide quality Climate Change Education (CCE).  

2. Government

Increasing rates of greenhouse gas emissions, combined with environmental degradation, and the over-exploitation of natural resources, have us in a race against time. Given the far-reaching nature of the climate challenge, effective federal policy is needed to achieve deep, long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and to help strengthen climate resilience across the world. 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the meat industry is responsible for producing 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding even the transportation sector. To combat this, governments across the world can support small agricultural producers who, unlike big factories, employ sustainable practices, care about land restoration, benefit nearby communities, and produce crops more resilient to climate change. The governments also need to educate and promote such policies to encourage more and more people to adopt environment-friendly livelihoods and practices.

3. Employers & Corporate Citizens

The existing challenge for the labor market and skill policies is to increase the benefits for workers while supporting broader environmental growth.  But, focusing on the natural resource-based view, employee stakeholder integration is linked to the environment through the firm’s proactive strategies. 

Traditional economic modeling suggests that ambitious climate change policies could be good for the working sector as well as the environment. It is believed that a well-designed emissions trading system could sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions while permitting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to keep growing. A successful transition toward a greener economy can generate various new opportunities for workers. This is exactly what the employers and corporates need to educate their existing and potential workforces about Climate Change and its benefits.

Corporates can also offer required financial support to the humanitarian organizations that are designing interventions to help people understand the impact of increasing global warming in today’s world and are trying to increase climate literacy among the youth. 

4. Philanthropies

Climate changes have started worsening societal challenges in many areas that are prioritized by philanthropies, such as education, health, human rights, equalities, and food security. Climate hazards are expected to become more frequent and more intense with each passing year. 

Philanthropies have a unique authority to help solve the world’s most pressing problems and encourage sustainable development. An important addition to the SDGs is Goal 17 for the collaborative processes and partnerships required to address these pressing matters. Numerous organizations, public and private, hold a stake in these partnerships, contributing different resources and unique approaches towards development. Philanthropies have the power and influence to lead such collaborations and find more creative ways of supporting education for climate change, especially for underserved societal groups like girls.

5. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

In developing countries, NGOs are also better positioned to have a powerful impact on corporate environmental performance than any other stakeholder. They can play an influential role in corporate environmental responsibilities by educating and assembling primary stakeholders to sign petitions, boycott, and protest against companies that are classified as poor environmental performers. 
The underlying urgency of climate protection demands resilient and permanent solutions for pressing problems like disaster risk reduction, water resources, coastal zone management, reforestation, etc.  Educating different sections of society can help make this change behavioral and permanent. This work can never be done alone by any individual or unit and that is why the role of each stakeholder in promoting education for climate change action is equally important. Be a part of the change and do your bit by supporting nonprofits for taking a bold step toward this cause. Donate to educate children today who will tomorrow become the face of change!

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