Students visit Parliament to present their Climate Education Bill
Yesterday, on Tuesday 24th January 2023, alongside a group of other Teach the Future volunteers, I visited parliament to host a drop-in briefing for MPs as our Climate Education Bill was being presented in parliament by Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East. We had all worked so hard to get to this point and it was beyond incredible to finally be back in Parliament, campaigning for climate education. Around 30 MPs across party lines showed support for the bill on the day. We met with many of them and hearing them all talking so enthusiastically about our bill and our campaign was so surreal. It made us all feel so seen and heard.
To effectively tackle the climate crisis, we need to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and in order to do this we need to build an education system that prepares students to face the effects of climate change head on and contribute to the solution. Currently, our education system does neither of these things, it is failing us.
Recent research from exam board Pearson shows there is demand from teachers for this change, with 61% saying that the current education system is not successfully developing tolerant, sustainably-minded global citizens of the future, whilst SOS-UK's Schools and Sustainability research shows the demand from students: 42% of young people aged 9-18 say they have learnt a little, hardly anything or nothing about the environment at school and 68% are interested in learning more about the environment.
We desperately need to update our curriculum. Our Climate Education Bill is about repurposing our curriculum so that it gives young people the skills they need to mitigate the effects of climate change, thrive in a net zero society and be part of the solution.
To help us gain further support for the bill, write to your MP, asking them to sign the EDM, or write to the Education Secretary to highlight the importance of climate education.
The next reading for our bill is scheduled for March 2023.
Blog written by Niamh Crisp-O'Brien, Teach the Future volunteer.