The Global Search for Education: Climate Activist Sophia Lana Has 3 Key Takeaways from Her Interview with UNESCO’S Alexander Leicht
Net Zero is the popular new video and podcast series in which youth leaders from the Protect Our Planet Movement in association with Planet Classroom track the progress being made by international thought leaders to achieve Net Zero by 2050. Global audiences are invited to watch climate activist Sofia Lana’s insightful interview with UNESCO’s Alexander Leicht.
On any given day, over 1 billion children head to school. The United Nations has called Climate Change the biggest threat modern humans have ever faced. Clearly, climate education for all students is a crucial strategy in tackling our global environmental crisis.
What’s been done in global school systems so far? How can climate as part of the core curriculum empower children and young people to take action on the race to Net Zero? What essential components are needed for a strong climate curriculum? Climate Activist Sofia Lana elected to interview UNESCO’s Alexander Leicht to get answers to these important questions. UNESCO is the leading UN agency in the implementation of the SDG 4 — Education 2030. Leicht is Chief of the Section of Education for Sustainable Development.
The Global Search for Education caught up with Sofia Lana in Spain to find out more about her interview.
Sofia, why did you select this particular climate thought leader to interview? What inspires you about him?
What inspires me most about Alexander Leicht are his work at UNESCO, commitment, and conviction to the sustainable development goals. Specifically, my interview with him is focused on SDG4 — ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all — and achieving the complex goal of incorporating climate education into school curricula worldwide. This has to be achieved regardless of existing awareness of the crisis and the cultural nuances from country to country. Every school system must address the environmental impact of the climate crisis in its curriculum. Alexander understands the value and importance of knowledge and action by every citizen to support our planet.
What surprised you most about your interview with Alexander Leicht?
What surprised me most were his graciousness and his humanity.
What are the 3 main takeaways for the Net Zero audience from your interview?
Firstly, approximately 50% of the world’s nations are focused on climate change in their curriculums, so even though progress has been made, there is still plenty of work left to be done before climate action is part of every core curriculum. Kenya is a positive example of a country that has taken the climate curriculum very seriously.
Secondly, education is crucial to moving the climate agenda forward, but it must be done in a partnership approach between education and all other stakeholders in society.
Thirdly and perhaps most important, education must fundamentally transform itself to address the climate crisis. In other words, the old style of traditional teaching won’t work. A holistic approach is needed so that climate change can be integrated across the entire curriculum. Alexander talks about schools transforming themselves so that students learn sustainability as part of their every day school experience. He further stresses that all students must become climate activists who understand the issues, engage in the political process, and push for better climate legislation.
Thank you Sofia!
C. M. Rubin with Sofia Lana
Net Zero Speaks with Alexander Leicht is now screening on the Planet Classroom Network.