As President Joe Biden prepared to rejoin the Paris Agreement to fight climate change Wednesday, a new campaign is underway by environmental activists to add compulsory environmental education to school curriculums worldwide.
Article 12 of the Paris Agreement already states that nations “shall cooperate in taking measures, as appropriate, to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, recognizing the importance of these steps with respect to enhancing actions under this Agreement.”
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EarthDay.org, a U.S. group that bills itself as the “world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement,” is working with trade unions and environmental groups around the world to ensure that climate change education is compulsory under the Paris Agreement, according to The Australian, a national newspaper and website owned by NewsCorp Australia, who originally reported the news.
EarthDay.org president Kathleen Rogers told FOX Business that “climate literacy and civic skill building are the keys to building a green jobs ready workforce, a green consumer movement, which corporations badly need, and an educated and engaged citizenry.”
Those factors are “desperately needed to build broad support for solving climate change and for building a more equitable society,” Rogers said.
Failure to mandate “climate literacy skills, job training and civic skills will become a national liability” for countries, said Rogers. But for those that embrace the mandate, Rogers predicts they “will own the green economy.”
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The environmental activists have their sights set on the United Nations climate change conference that will be hosted by the United Kingdom and Italy in Glasgow in November 2021.
“We are hopeful that we will see some agreement in Glasgow but will press on until the majority of countries understand that civic skills and climate education are the keys to a solid economic future and building a resilient and supportive citizenry,” Rogers told FOX Business.
Rogers and Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, wrote in a Reuters op-ed last month that world leaders need to support “compulsory climate education as a core, integrated subject in school curricula worldwide.”
With President Biden returning the United States to the Paris Agreement, the nation re-joins 195 other countries in the fight against global warming.
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Biden has a slate of other climate-related executive orders in the works as well, including revoking former President Trump’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, directing federal agencies to consider the impact of fossil fuel emissions on future generations, and evaluating a move by the Trump administration that rolled back protections for some national monuments.
“A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” President Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.