The complexities of climate change require a holistic approach, which UNESCO provides though its longstanding expertise combining science, education, culture, and communication and information. The Organization will organize and joina series of events and exhibitions to bring this expertise to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) which takes place at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November 2022.
COP27 is a unique opportunity to mobilize commitments and action to transform education to tackle climate change. One of UNESCO’s main objectives will be to accelerate the integration and implementation of climate change education as part of its work on Education for sustainable development (ESD) by presenting UNESCO’s newest publication: “Youth demand quality climate education”, which draws upon a series of surveys and consultations with young people from 166 countries to document their needs and demands on climate change education. Following its launch at the UN Transforming Education Summit, UNESCO will also reiterate the call for key stakeholders to commit to the Greening Education Partnership and its 4 action areas: greening schools; greening learning; greening capacity & readiness; and greening communities.
UNESCO is organizing the following ESD events at COP27.
Thursday, 10 November 2022 (Youth/Future Generation Day)
9:00-10:30 EET / Earth Day Pavilion in Blue Zone
This event highlights youth participation, collaboration, and input in the development, design, and implementation of Greening Education Partnership led by UNESCO. This intergenerational, intersectoral panel centers youth voices in conversation with civil society, educator, philanthropy, think tanks, professional associations, and labor to reflect on the process and opportunities present in the Partnership. The session builds on the work of EARTHDAY.ORG and partners’ advocacy work in the build up and aftermath of the UN Transforming Education Summit.
This event will be an opportunity to share the success of youth action toward global climate literacy campaigns and provide some context for the UNESCO events happening later in the day’s proceedings.
Thursday, 10 November 2022 (Youth/Future Generation Day)
The dialogue between ministers of education/environment and young people will address concrete ways to transform education to tackle climate change. Building on the commitments made by a number of countries at COP26 in Glasgow (November 2021), and at the UN Transforming Education Summit (TES) in New York (September 2022), COP 27 is a unique opportunity to focus on concrete actions on climate change education.
Recalling Berlin Declaration on ESD (2021) which called for ‘climate action as a core curriculum component’, UNESCO organized a series of survey and consultations with 17,000 young people from 166 countries as a part of its work to co-develop green curriculum guideline with young people. The youth asks will be presented on this occasion, and the dialogue between ministers and young people will be structured around the key findings.
As the way forward, calls for countries and key stakeholders to join Greening Education Partnership will be made.
Thursday, 10 November 2022 (Youth/Future Generations Day)
12:30-13:30 EET / UNESCO Pavilion in Green zone
The UN Secretary General’s Transforming Education Summit strongly confirmed that education must be transformed to fully contribute to solutions to the global climate and environmental crisis. A new Greening Education Partnership aims to deliver strong, coordinated and comprehensive action that will prepare every learner to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to tackle climate change and to promote sustainable development. Education, and specifically Education for sustainable development (ESD), is uniquely placed to transform individuals and societies through greening education. Learners can be empowered with the skills required for inclusive and sustainable growth, in the context of the twin transitions to digital and green economies.
Taking a lifelong learning approach starting from pre-primary to adult education, greening education will equip all learners with critical competencies covering not only knowledge and awareness, but also socio-emotional skills and behaviours, including critical thinking and collaboration. Learners will be enabled to understand the complexity of the climate and environmental crisis, how global sustainability challenges are interconnected, and also to support problem solving in their contexts.
The session will: present the new Greening Education Partnership, its aim and purpose, and how it will function; build on the Member States support at TES, this session is to mobilize commitment and action from key stakeholders relevant to ACE; discuss coordination and contribution of all relevant actors in support of the education partnership; and collect pledges and commitments from key stakeholders.
Tuesday, 15 November 2022 (ACE Day)
14:30-15:30 EET / UNESCO pavilion in the Green Zone
It is increasingly recognized that education and learning are crucial for addressing the climate emergency. Education can aim to teach us to live harmoniously within our planetary boundaries, as a part of a shared ecosystem. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) reorients education to empower learners of all ages to act for environmental integrity, economic viability, and a more equitable society.
This session will be an occasion for a deep dive into the youth demands that have been compiled in the ‘Youth demand quality climate change education’ publication. Voices of young people will be brought together to highlight what they think is quality climate change education and how they wish the current education systems to change.
The expert panel will discuss the ways and means to translate youth asks and demands into concrete actions, particularly into curriculum guidelines for policymakers and educators.
Tuesday 15 November 2022
10:00-10:45 EET / UAE pavilion in Blue Zone
Recalling Berlin Declaration on ESD (2021) which called for ‘climate action as a core curriculum component’ and Building on the commitments made by a number of countries at COP26 in Glasgow (November 2021), UNESCO launched the Greening Education Partnership during the UN Transforming Education Summit (TES) in New York (September 2022). The Partnership aims to bring together key stakeholders including Member States and International organizations to accelerate action in the 4 action areas: greening schools, greening learning by, greening capacity & readiness, and greening communities.
UNESCO, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office of UAE and UNFCCC are organising an expert panel discussion, on 15th November 2022, on the occasion of Action for Climate Empowerment Day at the UAE Pavilion. The session will showcase climate-smart educational initiatives and discuss the outcomes of a series of expert discussions on climate change education for social transformation held through ‘UNESCO-UNFCCC On the Road to COP27 webinar series’. In particular, greening schools – one of the four pillars of the Greening Education Partnership – will be discussed to prepare for the next round of expert webinar series in the lead up to COP28 in UAE.