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New research indicates support for the Climate Education Bill

January 24, 2023

Over three quarters of participants told us it’s important for children and young people to be prepared for climate change issues at school.

We asked the UK general public some questions about young people, education and environmental issues. The results from the survey, carried out in November 2022 in a nationally representative poll of 2,000 UK adults by Opinium, demonstrate the growing need for governments to act to mandate better climate education for children and young people.

Students from Teach the Future are campaigning for this, and wrote the Climate Education Bill which is being presented in Parliament today by Labour MP, Nadia Whittome, as the bill’s sponsor. The survey findings demonstrate that current teaching is leaving children unprepared for their future: to face the effects of climate change, nor to understand the solutions, and therefore the need for the introduction of the Climate Education Bill. The introduction of the bill will give young people the education they need to thrive in a net zero society, support young people to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis and be part of the solution.

The survey found that:

-     78% think that it is important for children and young people to be prepared for the nature crisis (the rapid decline in the number of plant and animal species across the natural world) at school.

-     76% think that it is important for children and young people to be prepared for climate change (the shifts in average weather conditions as a result of human activity) at school.

-     76% think that it is important for children and young people to be prepared for challenges for humanity that result the nature crisis and/or climate change.

 

When asked to consider any positive experiences they have had as a result of children and young people they know learning about environmental issues at school,

-     23% said they now understand more about environmental issues

-     21% said it has led to them make changes to their behaviours to reduce their impact

-     21% said it has led to them wanting to make changes to their behaviours to reduce their impact

-     8% said it’s led to them getting more involved in their community to tackle environmental issues

 

Finally, 74%of people said it is important for the government, businesses and community organisations to provide opportunities for children and young people to play a part in tackling environmental issues.

These results add evidence to the growing need for governments to act to require better climate and environmental education for children and young people at school so they are more prepared for the future.

Read the full report for more details.