‘Lifelong Learning is key to climate action’, underlined Niels Annen, Parliamentary State Sectary to the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, at the beginning of the COP27 side event ‘Greening TVET, Adult Learning and Education’ on 9 November 2022. The event, organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the UNESCO Cairo Office and the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), brought together speakers who shared insights on their strategies and programmes to promote youth and adult non-formal and informal learning for climate action.
Speakers emphasized that only by streamlining climate education throughout all stages and modalities of learning will we be able to empower young and old with the skills needed to tackle climate change. Ms Julia von Westerholt, Director of the German Adult Education Association (DVV), highlighted that this requires targeted training of educators across all educational levels with a view to sustainability.
From the local level experience, Mr Jiacheng Li, Director of Shanghai Municipal Institute for Lifelong Education, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China, explained what cities can do to mitigate climate change through education. Through Shanghai’s community-based approach and intergenerational learning the city empowers citizens and educators to implement Education for Sustainable Development at local level.
In order for Education for Sustainable Development to be successful, it needs to be inclusive, emphasized Niels Annen in his contribution. Everyone – regardless of their age, gender or origin – requires access to learning opportunities, he underlined. By 2030, all learners should acquire the knowledge and skills for sustainable development.
UIL will continue to strengthen lifelong learning for climate action at international, national and local levels and build lifelong learning ecosystems for a sustainable future.