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Is Italy the first country to require Climate Change Education in all schools?



On November 5, 2019, Italian Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti announced the intention to put climate change and sustainability at the core of Italy’s school curriculum. It aims to educate students of all ages about the world’s current “climate emergency” and how to work against it through sustainability. Environmental experts from Columbia and Oxford Universities[1] have been recruited to help to prepare the new curriculum targets for each grade, including advice on the best approaches to engage each age group. Teacher training began in January 2020 so that the full programme can be in place in schools by September 2020.  
Starting in September 2020, Italian students in every grade will learn about climate change and sustainability, bringing Italy to the forefront of environmental education worldwide. Each year, teachers at all grade levels will be required to include 33 hours of education about climate change and related topics. The lessons will be integrated into existing civics classes, as well as other traditional subjects such as geography, maths and physics. It is proposed that 6 to 19 years olds will spend a minimum of one hour a week on topics such as ocean pollution, sustainable living and renewable resources. Subjects like geography and physics will be taught from the perspective of sustainable development.


[1] Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and Kate Raworth, Senior Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute