Climate and environmental literacy is a core pillar of Earth Day 2021’s Restore Our Earth theme. We can’t expect to solve the climate crisis if we don’t learn about it. We need to understand how anthropogenic activities affect the environment and how the environment affects us.
A climate-literate person
- understands the essential principles of Earth’s climate system,
- knows how to assess scientifically credible information about climate,
- communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way, and
- is able to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate.
WHY DOES CLIMATE SCIENCE LITERACY MATTER?
During the 20th century, Earth’s globally averaged surface temperature rose by approximately 1.08°F (0.6°C). Additional warming of more than 0.25°F (0.14°C) has been measured since 2000. Though the total increase may seem small, it likely represents an extraordinarily rapid rate of change compared to changes in the previous 10,000 years.
Over the 21st century, climate scientists expect Earth’s temperature to continue increasing, very likely more than it did during the 20th century. Two anticipated results are rising global sea level and increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves, droughts, and floods. These changes will affect almost every aspect of human society, including economic prosperity, human and environmental health, and national security.
Since the first Earth Day, 51 years ago in 1970, we believe 3 billion students around the globe have graduated from high school or equivalent worldwide without the fundamental skills and critical thinking necessary to effectively steward the Earth. We have stranded them by failing to educate them on the interplay between the environment and their own lives. We have not prepared them to participate in their communities. We have not equipped them with the skills necessary to build a green economy.
Through global climate literacy, we can inspire a reverence for the planet that moves them to act for the environment. By weaving respect for the natural world into all aspects of education, we will establish a shared commitment from our youth to act on behalf of the planet, not for politics nor profit.
That’s why EARTHDAY.ORG (EDO) is spearheading a campaign to have compulsory, assessed climate and environmental education with a strong civic engagement component in every school in the world.
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.
Fifty years ago, the first Earth Day started an environmental revolution. Now, we are igniting an education revolution to save the planet. This formal campaign, launched in 2020, is combining grassroots support and on the ground efforts by students, educators, and nonprofits with national level commitments from Ministries of Education and Environment. Through our 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.
We’re securing commitments from 30+ countries to demand action at COP26. We’ve enlisted over 500 organizations representing 275 million individuals adding grassroots voices to the call.
In the last year, we have had to take classrooms online, EDO India organized more than 20 webinars with teachers, professors, NGOs and policymakers across South Asia and each state of India to see how we can motivate students to Climate Literacy while teaching online. We have a Pan India contest for teachers culminating this Earth Month, with cash prizes for the schools, and certificates for teachers, asking for tried and tested effective methodology to build environmental stewardship in youth. Teachers and experts have suggested using the moving image, songs, storytelling, puppetry, DIYs, Nature Club activities to engage students.
Everyone has the potential to act for the planet and Earth Day is the invitation to begin on the path. Earth Day is more than a day — we are the world’s largest civic movement activating millions of people 365 days a year.
Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network® (doing business as EARTHDAY.ORG™) is a global organization that grew out of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Today, 51 years later, the organization engages with over 50,000 partners in some 190 countries to take the environmental movement forward.
Projects Development India EARTHDAY.ORG