Climate change to be core part of school curriculum under Labour plans

Primary school children will be taught climate change as a core part of their curriculum under plans unveiled by the Labour Party yesterday.

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Teaching climate change to children is currently often restricted to Chemistry and Geography classes in secondary school.

But Labour said renewable energy and green technology jobs would drastically increase in demand as a result of climate change, and that the subject should be taught to people sooner.

The announcement came ahead of today’s global climate school strikes, with more than 1.4 million young people expected to protest government inaction on climate change, beating the previous turnout in March.

One of the key demands of the UK Student Climate Network is that the national curriculum be reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority.

Shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said: “Young people are taking to the streets to send a clear message to the government that climate change will be a fundamental and defining feature of their adult lives.

“We need to equip people with the knowledge to understand the enormous changes we face, and skills to work with the new green technologies that we must develop to deal with them.”

The Labour Party’s plans include a review of the curriculum to make certain it focuses on the knowledge and skills that children will need for the green jobs of the future.

As part of the review, an expert panel will consider how climate change and its impact are taught from primary school onwards.

Labour said it would support the establishment of non-profit making ‘local energy communities’ to develop small-scale energy generation and engage with distribution at the micro level.

However, the National Grid warned that Labour's plans would put current progress towards decarbonisation at risk, highlighting how the UK recently when a week without coal generation for electricity.

“These proposals for state-ownership of the energy networks would only serve to delay the huge amount of progress and investment that is already helping to make this country a leader in the move to green energy,” the National Grid said. 

“At a time when there is increased urgency to meet the challenges of climate change the last thing that is needed is the enormous distraction, cost and complexity contained in these plans.” 

 

Image credit: Shutterstock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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