Children planting trees Children planting trees

Education is key to addressing climate change

Cities and local action

The UNFCC assigns responsibility to Parties of the Convention to undertake educational and public awareness campaigns on climate change.

Education is a critical agent in addressing the issue of climate change. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) assigns responsibility to Parties of the Convention to undertake educational and public awareness campaigns on climate change, and to ensure public participation in programmes and information access on the issue.

Education can encourage people to change their attitudes and behavior; it also helps them to make informed decisions. In the classroom, young people can be taught the impact of global warming and learn how to adapt to climate change. Education empowers all people, but especially motivates the young to take action. Knowing the facts helps eliminate the fear of an issue which is frequently colored by doom and gloom in the public arena. In this context, UNICEF has tapped into the minds and imaginations of children around the world to capture what it means to be a child growing up in the age of rapid climate change.

Through its Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development programme, UNESCO aims to “help people understand the impact of global warming today and increase "climate literacy" among young people.” This programme and other innovative educational initiatives, including the Global Action Programme (GAP), Action for Climate Empowerment and the ZOOM campaign, were presented and discussed at the COP 22.

The World Metrological Organization (WMO) works closely with weather presenters who are committed to education and outreach on climate change and who have formed a new network Climate without Borders, which has a daily reach of approximately 375,000,000 people, and aims to “educate, motivate and activate” weather presenters to reach out to their audiences armed with useful information.

Partnering with Climate Central, WMO has also produced a series of videos called "summer in the cities" which provide a glance into future effects of global warming on weather in cities around the world. This follows on from a video series “Weather in 2050” in which TV weather presenters reported a typical weather forecast, based on scientific scenarios, for the year 2050.