UNICEF United Kingdom

Education Must Play a Part in Combating Climate Change

Climate change poses a serious threat to efforts to reduce global poverty. According to the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, the changing climate will have widespread effects on human life and ecosystems. It brings heat waves, flooding, droughts, intense tropical cyclones, rising sea levels, and damages biodiversity.

Vulnerable groups like children living in poverty in countries with weak governance and poor education systems are the hardest hit by climate change. The changing climate is making it harder for children to access education in a safe environment as disasters caused by climate change can damage or destroy schools. And the economic impacts of disasters reduce school enrollment, as children are kept out of school to help their families earn a living.

Despite being threatened by the changing climate, education offers a valuable opportunity to combat climate change. It gives children and young people the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about how to adapt individual lives and ecological, social or economic systems in a changing environment. Education plays a vital role in bringing about behavioral change, and schools can play an important part by becoming carbon neutral, energy efficient and reducing their own ecological footprint.

Read the full opinion piece on UNICEF UK »