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Italy to become first country to make studying ‘climate change’ compulsory in schools


Italian students in every grade are about to get schooled in the climate emergency facing our planet. Learning about climate change and sustainability will soon be compulsory for all students across the country, education minister Lorenzo Fioramonti announced Tuesday.

According to Fioramonti, Italy is the first country to adopt a climate change curriculum in public schools. Starting next school year, schools will be required to dedicate 33 hours per year — almost one hour per school week — to discussing the challenges of climate change, Reuters reports.

Fioramonti is a 42-year-old lawmaker for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement party, which has a history of supporting environmental policies. He said sustainability lessons will be worked into several traditional subjects, including geography, math and physics.

Lorenzo Fioramonti


I want Italy to become a leader against climate change, being the first country to make sustainable development the cornerstone of our new education and research approach 

Exclusive: Italy to make climate change study compulsory in schools

Italy will next year become the world’s first country to make it compulsory for schoolchildren to study climate change and sustainable development, Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti said.

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“The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” 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.”

Fioramonti told The New York Times that a group of environmental experts will help ministry staff prepare a curriculum. He said the ministry will be ready to train teachers by January.

Different grades will take different approaches to the new curriculum, Fioramonti told The Times. Elementary-aged children will learn using what he called a “fairy-tale model” that connects the environment to stories from different cultures. By middle school, children will learn more technical information, and by high school, they will delve into the United Nations‘ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.