Europe lacks Climate education

Climate change and its consequences have to be taught to children even when they are in schools. However, majority of the schools in Europe have not added climate change in the curricula.

A new study has shown that the authorities had not added climate change in the studies even though the subject can be easily integrated into subjects outside of the sciences and geography.

The study by the School Education Gateway said that lack of training and resources are the key obstacles to teachers’ including the subject in lessons, while most respondents would support pupils who take action.

Though Climate change was a hot topic of discussion across Europe, Italy remained the only EU country to have made climate change education compulsory in schools.


  • 57 per cent of students want to learn more about sustainable development
  • Just four per cent of pupils feel that they know a lot about climate change
  • 42 per cent of young people aged 9-18 say they have learnt a little, hardly anything or nothing about the environment at school
  • 68 per cent want to learn more about the environment and climate change
  • 49 per cent would like to be more involved in projects or activities that help the environment
  • 75 per centof teachers feel they haven’t received adequate training to educate students about climate change;
  • 69 per cent of teachers think there should be more teaching about climate change in UK schools
  • 71 per cent (of UK adults) said learning about climate change should be part of the school curriculum.

The survey found that Lack of expertise or training was the most common reason why teachers might not include climate education in their lessons, followed by a lack of climate education resources.

Climate education was not part of the curriculum for 39 per cent of the surveyed. For 31 per cent, it was outside their subject area. A further 12 per cent felt that the topic was too controversial or politically sensitive, while 11 per cent said there are more important issues that the curriculum prioritises. A smaller six percentage were sceptical about climate education as a whole, arguing that there is not enough evidence that climate change is a serious problem.

When 39 per cent said that their school would provide support for pupils actively engaging in climate change campaigns, thirty eight per cent said that the school would leave it up to the teacher to decide what position to take.  A 11 per cent of the respondents said that that the school would remain neutral.

Opinions were split on whether teachers have the necessary knowledge and resources to teach climate education with 45 per cent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with this claim and 42 per cent taking the opposite stance. Over 90 per cent of the respondents strongly agreed that climate education can be easily integrated into subjects outside sciences and geography. Only around 35 per cent strongly agreed that their curriculum covered all topics related to climate change.


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