Scientists concur that climate change is humanity's paramount threat, mainly due to excessive natural resource consumption. Its effects, including species extinction, rising sea levels, extreme weather, and dangerously high temperatures, are already observable. The potential consequences for life and global civilization are catastrophic.
As students and young leaders, we recognize the urgent need to unite and act upon the scientific consensus. The World Youth Group acknowledges the centrality of Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13) to its mission and reaffirms its commitment to advancing targeted UN action on climate change.
To achieve this, we propose a UN resolution to implement a standardized, global educational curriculum named 'Climate Education.' This program will empower youth with the understanding, knowledge, and skills to mitigate this global crisis. Climate Education is a sensible approach to educating our youth on the importance of preserving and sustaining our planet. It will also emphasize how individuals, even young children, can contribute to mitigating climate change, such as reducing plastic usage or limiting cellphone usage to save electricity and reduce natural resource consumption.
Furthermore, it has come to our attention that our youth are increasingly burdened by fear and mental health issues related to the climate crisis. Therefore, through Climate Education, we aspire to eradicate this fear and provide our young learners with peace and hope. This program aims to instill in them the belief that together, we can protect and preserve our planet, fostering a tranquil mindset and an optimistic outlook."
SDG 13 - Climate Action is central to the World Youth Group's fundamental objectives due to the urgent reality of climate change. Notably, in the past half-century, we have observed a concerning increase in the frequency of storms and floods, often tripling since the 1970s (according to World Bank data). Recent devastating events, such as the tragic Libyan flood, earthquakes in various regions, the unforgettable 2011 tsunami, rampant wildfires in the US and Canada due to intense heat, and hurricanes, underscore the immediate necessity for action.
In light of these realities, young people and governments may need a comprehensive understanding and concrete plans. While protests and public displays have their role in raising awareness, they sometimes seem to be reduced to mere photo opportunities and social media coverage. More concerning is the injection of fear among youth and communities by certain authorities and advocates, suggesting an impending global catastrophe, which is not entirely accurate. Developing effective mitigation and action plans can help us stabilize temperatures and improve our planet. World Bank data shows deaths from natural disasters have significantly decreased, but rising temperatures and other issues remain serious concerns.
Notably, we have politicized this issue and turned it into a battle between political parties, and between renewable and non-renewable companies. With this understanding, the SDG13 Committee has determined that a common-sense approach is needed. The best practice is to educate the younger generation and equip them to serve the planet better. We propose that Climate Education is the optimal solution.
The Climate Education curriculum will follow the climate action initiatives and guidelines of the UN, particularly of its agencies UNFCCC “Action for Climate Empowerment,” UNESCO’s “Education for Sustainable Development,” and UNEP “Youth, Education, and Environment” program. It will emphasize resource management conceiving the outcome of the UN-Water Conference.
Furthermore, extending our support to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, “Our Common Agenda” (A/75/982), calls for a renewal of solidarity across younger generations, putting forward several concrete recommendations to further that objective. Specifically listed is “Protect Our Planet” and seeking youth support, which we believe is vital to Initiatives meant to “Educate, Encourage, and Engage” our youth on climate action and to support the Common Agenda.
Our proposal is Secretary-General Guterres’ call made manifest. There is a pre-existing global network of knowledgeable student and youth leaders capable of implementing the groundwork for the climate education syllabus. It is wise and pertinent to center climate change education projects around those who stand to be most affected by it –that is, the youth– and those most familiar with the communities and institutions where the curriculum will be implemented.
This passage outlines a proposed plan of action for the implementation of 'Climate Education' as a curriculum in academic settings. The plan involves a collaboration between the World Youth Group, young parliamentarians, student leaders, UN Member States, and relevant UN agencies. The following steps are proposed:
- The Committee on SDG13 of the World Youth Group will finalize a concept note and submit it to the Chief Advisor and interested UN Member States for support.
- UN Member States, with the support of relevant UN agencies, will finalize the resolution on 'Climate Education'.
- The World Youth Group and UN Member States will host a side event in the UNHQ on awareness and implementation of 'Climate Education'.
- The World Youth Group will mobilize endorsements from Members of Parliament and the Ministry of Education from various governments worldwide to strengthen support.
- Adoption of the resolution will lead governments and their respective departments to implement 'Climate Education' as a curriculum in academic settings.
- Respective governments and departments are encouraged to augment the curriculum as best suits the climate-related circumstances of their own country, UN SDG 13 provisions, call of action by UNFCCC, natural resource management, etc.
- Climate education experts and educators can guide this process if needed, including IUCN, IIE, UNESCO, and the Committee on SDG13 and SDG4 of the World Youth Group.
- Members of the Committee on SDG13 of the World Youth Group, particularly those from the respective country, are encouraged to pass national legislation to strengthen the implementation and achieve the goals of this resolution.
- Members of the Committee on SDG13 of the World Youth Group, particularly those from the respective country, to monitor the outcome of the implementation of this resolution.
This proposed plan of action aims to promote the inclusion of climate education as a curriculum in academic settings, with the hope of raising awareness and promoting action toward climate change mitigation and adaptation.
president: Hon.Ms.Mariam Lashkhi │ Member of Parliament- Georgia │ Core Committee WYG Hon.Mr.Christo Thomas │ Chair World Youth Group
Hon.Ms. Emma Theofelus │ Member of Parliament – Namibia │ Chief Delegate WYG
Hon.Ms.Luisa Canziani │ Member of Parliament – Brazil │ Core Committee WYG
Hon.Mr.Ntsube Itemelange │ Member of Parliament – South Africa │ Chief Delegate WYG
Hon.Mr.Miguel Matos │ Member of Parliament – Portugal │ Chief Delegate WYG
Hon.Ms.Rosangella Barbaran │ Member of Parliament – Peru │ Chief Delegate WYG
Hon.Mr.Varney Jarsey │ Vice Chair- WYG / President AASU