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December 1, 2023

COP28 kicks off this week and education plays a crucial role in the conference

COP28 kicks off this week and education plays a crucial role in the conference

The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28 for short) takes place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December this year. The COP conferences are intended for governments to agree policies to limit global temperature rises and adapt to impacts associated with climate change.

Most will remember COP26 which took place in Glasgow in 2021, while the most recent high-profile event was COP21 in Paris in 2015 where the ‘Paris Agreement’ was signed, pursuing efforts to limit temperature increases to 1.5oC.

Education is critical to ensure we can even try and meet these targets. UNESCO will co-host a series of events at COP28, highlighting the essential role of education in getting every learner climate-ready.

Here at the Sheffield Institute of Education we are developing innovating approaches to climate education as well as building local capacity through a Sheffield sustainable schools’ network focussing on supporting practitioners to delivery high quality climate and sustainability education.

Below are just a few resources, webinars and activities that practitioners may find useful in discussing COP28 in their own education settings.

 

  • Modelled on the UN climate conference in Glasgow (1-12 November 2021), a new COP26 Climate Conference resource from InterClimate Network (ICN)bring to life this critical global debate. This activity can be run any time of year and works with a class right through to a year group in the hall. Download the resources from Global Dimension (suitable for KS3 upwards).
  • To support teaching around COP28 the BBC have put together a great collection of resources for use in your primary or secondary school classroom. Many are short video clips, ideal for highlighting key concepts and issues in climate change (suitable for all Key Stages).
  • The British Council has several projects and programmes focussing on climate change and COP28, including working with YOUNGO, the official youth constituency of the UNFCCC. Find out more on their COP28 focus pages (suitable for all Key Stages).
  • The Climate Classroom offers a free and short interactive learning experience that is designed to help those attending or following climate meetings get quickly up-to-speed on important climate topics. Each class is 45 minutes long and delivered by a team of experts following a 3-step lesson plan that allows you to engage and interact with the content (suitable for KS3 upwards).
  • Chester Zoo has a dedicated website showcasing opportunities to link sustainability and climate change to the biodiversity crisis which are very child friendly. Take a look at their website. (suitable for all Key Stages).
  • UNCC:Learn (The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership) is offering free a free and short interactive learning experience that is designed to help those attending or following climate meetings get quickly up-to-speed on important climate topics. Each class is 45 minutes long and delivered by a team of experts following a 3-step lesson plan that allows you to engage and interact with the content. Information about all the different sessions running up until the 12 December, can be found on their website (suitable for KS3 upwards).
  • Finally, something a bit different, Learning through Landscapes have created 12 themed outdoor lessons idea to enjoy with your pupils over the festive period. Download each PDF activity from their website (suitable for KS1 upwards and especially KS1 and KS2).

If you have used any of these resources or would like to recommend another which you have used, please do get in touch, or share in the comments box.

Lee Jowett
Climate Change and Sustainability Fellow, Sheffield Institute of Education