Italy’s schools first to make climate change studies compulsory

Posted on 14 November 2019

In 2020, Italy will become the world’s first country to make it mandatory for school children to study climate change and sustainable development.

Italy’s education minister, Lorenzo Fioramonti, told Reuters,  ‘I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.’

The minister, a former economics professor at South Africa’s University of Pretoria, said that ‘all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start of the next academic year in September. ‘


The subject will be taught in civics classes but will also be applied to subjects like mathematics, physics, and geography.

In September, Fioramonti encouraged students to take part in the Fridays for Future protests launched last year by teen Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to pressure world leaders to tackle climate change more decisively.

The movement calls on children to skip school on Fridays to draw attention to the cause. Fioramonti described the protests as ‘essential’, saying that students’ future was being ‘threatened by environmental devastation and an unsustainable economic growth model.’

Image credit: Ben Mullins

Also read: Greta Thunberg hitches ride across Atlantic with YouTubers

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