Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is an increasing threat to the right to education for children and young people across the globe. Climate-related hazards and shocks, such as drought, heatwaves, wildfires, tropical storms, air pollution, and flooding, may keep children and young people out of school and significantly impact their educational attainment, as well as their overall health and wellbeing. These natural hazards, shocks, and extreme weather events often damage or destroy education infrastructure and displace learners and teachers. The climate crisis also increases the likelihood of and vulnerability to slow-onset disasters and environmental degradation, which may have economic impacts on families’ ability to support their children or afford school fees. This may lead children and young people to drop out of school permanently so they can work to help support their families. Rates of early marriage, early pregnancy, and gender-based violence also often rise during climate-related crises. The climate crisis has a disproportionate effect on the children and young people already facing inequality and discrimination, including women and girls, persons with disabilities, members of indigenous communities, and others. Meanwhile, chronic poverty, systemic racism, and legacies of colonialism continue to increase marginalized groups’ vulnerability to the climate crisis. This makes the need to address the effects of climate change on education even more urgent, especially during emergencies.

Adaptation and mitigation measures that prioritize equity, social justice, climate justice, and rights-based approaches, such as providing quality EiE, can advance climate resilience, support transformation change, and lead to sustainable outcomes for communities. Crisis-sensitive planning and disaster risk reduction can lessen the impact climate shocks have on education infrastructure and access and make education systems more resilient. TVET and skills building can prepare young people to participate in sustainable and environment-friendly economies. EiE helps at-risk children and young people, and those affected by crises to develop skills that can increase their resilience. EiE can also enable children and young people to become part of climate change solutions by helping them understand and address the impact of the climate crisis and by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes they need to act as agents of change.

This collection was curated by the INEE Secretariat. To suggest resources or edits, contact website@inee.org.

1 December 2023 Policy Brief Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Promoting Climate-sensitive Early Childhood Care and Education in Emergencies

This brief addresses a gap in climate change and education literature: young children who are affected by crises. It outlines multi-sectoral early childhood care and education (ECCE) interventions that can serve as solutions to broader climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.

30 October 2023 Background Paper Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

Futures at Risk: Climate-Induced Shocks and Their Toll on Education for Crisis-Affected Children

This 2023 background study for the ECW Climate Appeal includes estimates on the effect of climate shocks on children and education around the world. The study presents estimates of the number of crisis-affected children and adolescents whose education has been disrupted by climate shocks, as well as the number of forced displacements of school-aged children due to floods, droughts and other extreme weather events.

1 June 2022 Policy Brief Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Girls’ Education and Climate Change: Investing in Education for Resilience

This brief was developed to support dissemination of key messages in Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises. It provides an overview of evidence and gaps on the relationship between girls’ education and climate crises, and recommends actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change on girls’ education and promote resilience.

12 October 2021 Toolkit
Education International

Teach for Climate Action: An Advocacy Toolkit on Climate Change Education for Educators and Their Unions

This toolkit aims to contribute to educators’ and education unionists’ skills and baseline knowledge in this regard. This toolkit is meant to be neither comprehensive nor prescriptive. Instead, it builds on existing research, analyses of needs and constraints, and best practices. The most it hopes to achieve is to serve as a stepping stone for developing context- and user-specific plans for CCE-focused advocacy.

1 March 2021 Report Malala Fund

A greener, fairer future: Why leaders need to invest in climate and girls' education

A greener, fairer future outlines the origins of the climate emergency and explains how confronting issues like the legacy of colonialism, racial discrimination and gender inequality through education is key to finding a sustainable solution to the crisis. The paper introduces the Gender-Equal Green Learning Agenda, a new framework to help leaders address the climate crisis through education.

1 December 2022 White Paper UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)

Addressing the climate, environment, and biodiversity crises in and through girls’ education

Developed in consultation with young people, educators, academics, leaders, governing bodies, and climate and environment experts, this paper sets out the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) vision for bringing the relationship between education and climate and environmental change into sharper focus.

1 October 2022 Research Publication
NORRAG
Rhodes University

NORRAG Special Issue 07: Education in Times of Climate Change

In this NORRAG Special Issue, Heila Lotz-Sisitka and Eureta Rosenberg have skilfully curated 28 contributions from 75 authors in 22 countries that showcase what is currently being done to close the gap between the potential of education to contribute to more a sustainable and just world and the experiences of those in education.

13 November 2022 Report United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organziation (UNESCO)

Youth demands for quality climate change education

UNESCO is undertaking the “Greening Every School”, which consists of in two phases; 1) compiling youth demands and 2) translating youth demands into a curriculum guide for policy-makers and educators. This document presents the outcome of the first phase which focuses on gathering youth voices.

1 April 2023 Framework Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

Toward Climate-Smart Education Systems: A 7-Dimension Framework for Action

This paper proposes a seven-dimension framework to leverage potential entry points and address gaps within national education systems to strengthen the resilience and relevance of education to climate change and environmental degradation. It highlights opportunities for leveraging the role of education in wider climate change, disaster risk and environmental efforts.

1 July 2023 Manual/Handbook/Guide US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Advancing Climate-Resilient Education Technical Guidance

This Guidance builds on the USAID 2022–2030 Climate Strategy and the 2018 USAID Education Policy to support USAID Missions and partners who seek to integrate climate action and awareness into education programs and are committed to achieving climate-resilient education systems and fostering climate-resilient learners. It outlines how to identify opportunities for climate action that respond to known climate hazards through mitigative, adaptive, and transformative actions.

5 December 2023 Report Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Save the Children

The Need for Climate-Smart Education Financing: A review of the evidence and new costing framework

This joint report by Save the Children and GPE reviews the literature on the bidirectional relationship between the climate crisis and funding for education and presents a new tool – the Climate and Environment Intervention Matrix (CEIM) – to help governments and donors understand the cost implications of building climate-smart education systems.

20 November 2023 Report Plan International

Climate Change and Girls' Education: Barriers, Gender Norms and Pathways to Resilience

This year’s research explores the relationship between climate change and girls’ education: what are the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on girls accessing school and completing their education? How do these impacts intersect with existing gendered barriers to education? And how is their education supporting girl to respond and adapt to climate change in their communities?  

19 July 2023 Report
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers

This Synthesis Report (SYR) of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) summarises the state of knowledge of climate change, its widespread impacts and risks, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. It integrates the main findings of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) based on contributions from the three Working Groups, and the three Special Reports.