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How can education encourage a more sustainable future?

Education and learning are key to taking action on the climate and biodiversity crisis. We need to work together for a sustainable future.
Silhouette of a child reading a book under a tree with a sunset behind them.

Education is often viewed as pivotal in creating and nurturing a more just, equitable and sustainable world. It is clear that any move towards a more sustainable future for our global society and living world will require us to think of education in its broadest sense and not just that which is confined to a classroom or school-based system.

Now is the time for every education system to lead the transformation that is needed to set our world on a more just and sustainable course, because our common future depends on our present actions.

– Stefania Giannini UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education from the foreword to the Education for Sustainable Development 2030: A Roadmap

Education beyond the classroom

Every conversation we have – for example with friends, family or colleagues – is a form of education, and so the process of education and learning is lifelong, universal and something that affects and connects us all.

We recognise that everyone has a different experience of teaching and learning. This is influenced by factors such as power dynamics, culture and the value placed on various forms of knowledge.

This broad understanding of education is important. If education and learning are key to taking action on the climate and biodiversity crisis, then we need to consider multiple forms of education and learning and what approach(es) are required for a sustainable future. In this video, Wendy Morton MP, Minister for Europe and the Americas at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, shares her thoughts on the impact of climate change on education and gender equality issues;

At this point, we invite you to pause for Personal Reflection to consider:

  • How education is experienced in your context and community.
  • How knowledge is passed on through generations within your communities. This may be through story, poetry, or other forms.


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Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP26

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