Thank you to those who have contacted me about climate change and education.
Tackling the climate emergency is the defining challenge of this decade and I support the House of Commons’ declaration of a climate emergency in May 2019. Future generations will judge us by the choices we make today. We must face up to the realities of the climate emergency.
I am aware that Teach the Future campaigns on several issues relating to climate education, teacher training and green school buildings.
I believe the national curriculum should provide a wide understanding of the world children are growing up in. I note that last year the Committee on Climate Change recommended that the Department for Education consider the wider role of the education system in supporting the transition to a net-zero economy and preparing for the risks of climate change, including the need for greater public awareness and understanding.
The Government has emphasised the importance of young people being taught about climate change and the environmental impact of human actions. It has noted that topics related to this are included in science and geography curriculums and that it funds Subject Knowledge Enhancement training for aspiring teachers of these subjects. It has also introduced a new environmental science A Level and states that new T Level courses will contain sustainable content.
On the energy efficiency of school buildings, the Government has stated that it supports sustainability through capital funding and programmes to reduce carbon and save schools money on energy. I welcome announcements of new funding for school building projects, but I do not believe it is enough to address a decade of cuts, or to fully invest in schools’ long-term futures.
I am concerned that the Government does not have a strong commitment to bold climate action. We must take action to achieve most of the UK’s emissions reductions by the end of the decade. I believe we need a plan for a green economic recovery, bringing 400,000 additional jobs and investing in a greener future.
I know that these issues are of concern to many and I can assure you that I will continue to follow them closely.