Failing to recognise and address the links between climate change, girls’ education and gender equality undermines both the Paris Agreement and the right to education for millions of students.
We know that many of the root causes of climate change contribute to gender inequality which can lead to girls being out of school – this year alone, at least four million girls won’t complete their education due to climate-related crises (Malala Fund). Gender inequality also blocks girls from equal access to quality climate education, green jobs, leadership opportunities etc.
Through the Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action (2019), the MOCK COP26 Treaty (2020), youth activists have made it clear that education plays a critical role during climate disasters and displacement. It is also one of the most effective solutions we have to the climate crisis. Existing research reveals that every additional year of schooling for girls leads to significant improvements in a country’s resilience to climate-related disasters.
Yet existing commitments on climate education fall far short on delivering quality climate education – curricula are outdated and girls being left behind. In a recent survey, 82% didn’t know where to find information on the Paris Agreement and only 16% had learned about the gendered impacts of climate change (Plan International).
COP26 is a critical opportunity for world leaders to work in partnership with youth and youth-led organizations to target the connections, particularly through the review and enhancement of the Doha Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment.
Targeting the Connections will bring together youth activists with world leaders, experts and artists to share experiences, priorities and solutions for building a greener, fairer future. Invited speakers include UNFCCC Executive Director Patricia Espinosa, Malala Yousafzai and Vanessa Nakate.
This event is hosted by Malala Fund, Plan International, Transform Education, UNGEI, UNICEF, YOUNGO and others.