The acceleration of climate change is one of the most discussed topics in the world nowadays. This year Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their fifth and last report, it warns that there is no longer room for doubt that global warming is occurring. Many scientists agree that these changes have been triggered by human action in pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The consequences of change in climate dynamics are differentiated regionally, but generally imply in heatwaves, changes in rainfall patterns and more frequent extreme weather events. We must rethink our attitudes towards the environment and prioritize minimizing this problem. Education, especially in schools, is an excellent tool for reducing consumption in the world and encouraging children to have a sustainable lifestyle, therefore, is an ally in mitigating climate change.
Schools must facilitate for children to understand the climate change scenario, its causes and consequences. It is also crucial, that students experience this situation, as a meaningful experience and not as “just another lesson”, so they are able to intercede. As a result, the school will be fulfilling its role in preparing them for the world today, which is in the midst of an environmental emergency.
In my opinion, the school has a key role in mitigating climate change, since it is one of their duties to expose students to the planet reality. More than that, the school needs to equip its students, encouraging them to identify forms of individual and collective action.
It is important to mention that the school as a whole should take actions, always involving students, to reduce their greenhouse gases emissions like: growing, as much as they can, their own organic food; implementing feasible ways to save energy and water; reducing waste; composting; promoting carbon free transport to school; encouraging wild life in the school grounds; buying local products to reduce transport carbon emissions; etc. Students exposed and involved in their daily routine to ecofriendly/ habits are more likely to live sustainably.
It’s easier to promote sustainable living while they are still young than to promote a change in their lifestyle when they are already adults. Isn’t it obvious? So, why more investments are made in adults than in children?
IT IS NECESSARY TO INVOLVE CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS IN THE AGENDA OF MITIGATION, RATHER THAN TREATING THEM AS VICTIMS OR MERE OBSERVERS.