Climate Education Summit

Climate change is the defining crisis of our generation and it will be the lived reality for generations to come. Yet many people still don’t understand the issue, or feel able to respond to it adequately, including young people who will be most affected by it.

The University of Reading is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of the climate, and we have a long history in teacher training – passing our knowledge to those who need it is at the cornerstone of our mission. Which is why we will be running an online Climate Education Summit on 15 September 2021, working with the Office for Climate Education, the Royal Meteorological Society and the Met Office.

The virtual Summit will aim to bring together young people, scientists, teachers and educationalists, policymakers, and campaigners, to create a new nationwide action plan for better climate education in schools, focusing on children aged eight to 18.

CONNECTED invites you to join us for this live, virtual conference and encourages you to get involved.

A clear need

Through their Mock COP Declaration, young people across the globe have demanded that all school age children are provided with comprehensive and up-to-date teaching regarding the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

The Climate Assembly UK has said climate education for all should form the cornerstone of any action plan. Nine out of 10 teachers agree climate change education should be compulsory in schools, yet seven out of 10 feel ill-equipped to teach it. 

It is clear that young people, teachers and experts are calling for change and the University of Reading is committed to responding to help facilitate this change.

The Summit

The aim of the Summit is to identify and outline how a step change in climate and sustainability education can be made, so that young people have the skills and knowledge needed for the 21st century. The scope will include both policy-related matters and in-school extracurricular activities which can be implemented swiftly as they will not directly require curriculum change.

Our intention is to ensure that the message about climate education that emerges from the Summit reaches the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021, as well as to create lasting, positive change.

The virtual Summit will include open sessions with keynote speakers and a Q&A, as well as some closed roundtable discussions. View the event programme and event speakers.

Get involved

Let your voice be heard: speak up, tell us what you want and need. What do you want to ask the speakers and invited guests about climate education? What you would you like those involved in the Summit to know or consider? What do you think is needed?

We want the Summit and the climate education action plan to be informed by your voice.

Book your free place at the Climate Education Summit, submit a question to the panel, or let us know what you think is needed from climate education.

Partnering for the planet

On #ShowYourStripes Day 2021, which took place on 21 June, climate change graphics went global to celebrate the University’s launch of a new campaign to highlight the power of partnerships to benefit the planet – which includes the Climate Education Summit.

The sharing of these images provides a stark warning of how the planet is heating up. Stripes creator, Professor Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, has assembled a new array of compelling stripes graphics, covering more than 200 countries, states and regions. For the first time, the graphics include the latest scientific data for annual temperatures up to and including the year 2020.

The images are all available to download and share for free.

Discover more about the University of Reading’s Partnering for the Planet campaign.