Empowering Youth through Climate Education
Thursday 10 November 2022
UniCredit and Teach For All, explore the importance of climate education linked to the Youth and Future Generations day in the COP27 agenda. Together we want to equip the next generation with the tools, mindsets, and skills they’ll need to mitigate the climate emergency, promote climate justice, and be resilient in the face of climate change.
The 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh features several thematic days with 10 November focused on Youth and Future Generations, to highlight the power and participation of youth in climate action. For today’s youth, climate change is a tangible, personal, urgent and locally felt problem, making climate education central to preparing students to be effective and resilient in the collective fight against global climate change.
Fiona Melrose, Head of Group Strategy and ESG at UniCredit, commented: “We must help prepare our youth to pioneer the necessary solutions to the climate crisis, to be resilient and to lead the transformation to a more sustainable world. Climate education is an important part of Teach For All’s purpose of supporting all children to shape a better future for all of us, and we’re proud to support their significant efforts on this front, ensuring that together we equip the next generation of European leaders with everything they need to collectively address the growing challenges from climate change”.
Lennart Kuntze, Head of Climate Education and Leadership at Teach For All, commented: “Climate change and environmental risks are the lived reality of today’s students. Given its disruptive impacts, climate change is not simply climate change anymore - it is everything change and everywhere change. The good news is that us humans have agency: there is a lot we can–and must–do collectively to address climate change. It’s thus crucial that we support students’ resilience, agency and leadership for shaping a better future in a climate-changed world, by meaningfully addressing climate change in schools and classrooms. We’re extremely grateful for UniCredit’s partnership in this endeavour.”
Every country and community today is facing severe impacts from climate change, which means that climate protection is fundamentally also about human protection. To be effective change agents, students need to develop climate literacy — an understanding of the dimension and urgency of climate change, the way human activities cause(d) the climate crisis, potential solutions, and their own agency in developing and implementing them.
Furthermore, given those groups who least contribute to climate change (e.g., marginalised communities) most suffer the consequences, achieving climate justice requires a fundamental system shift towards the principles of sustainable development. Climate education can empower those who are most impacted to lead this system shift.
Our next generation will need to help shape a realigned, sustainable economic system, which means that students need to be equipped with both the mindsets and skills for a sustainable economy.
Sadly, education systems around the world are not providing enough opportunities for young people to raise their voices, nor the education to equip the next generation with the tools, mindsets, and skills they’ll need to mitigate the climate crisis, promote climate justice, and build resilience in the face of climate change.
This is why climate education is an important component of the work of Teach For All, bringing high-quality, locally rooted climate and environmental sustainability education to schools and classrooms across the world, further empowered by UniCredit in seven of our Bank’s core European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia.
Watch the video below to find out more.