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How climate education leads to financial benefits.

Arctic sea ice is rapidly diminishing, extreme heat events have become more frequent and sea levels are rising faster today than ever before. Climate change could be irreversible by 2030. Take Action Global has been investing in climate action education since 2017 as TAG believes that a change of behavior and mindset is a crucial part of the solution, besides new technologies and political decisions.

Through climate education people get to learn about the climate emergency. Learners get to know more about the causes, effects, and potential solutions. Through TAG’s initiatives they become empowered to take positive actions.

About Climate Action Project

TAG’s Climate Action Project involved 4.5 million teachers and students across 162 countries. Teachers have been united at an online platform so they could exchange findings, solutions, and activities. Students have been able to feature their work and learn first-hand from their global peers. Students have been working on new kinds of bioplastics, solar lights, and water driven clocks. The project empowered students to have a national impact. Irish students came up with a new logo for recycling after working with the minister of climate change. Students in Malawi planted 60 million trees to save a lake, with support of their president, and Turkish students broke the Guinness World Record for the longest cue of batteries. If their actions didn’t bring direct change, they at least changed the mindset of their communities, amplified by the media as most of these stories have been covered by the national press.

The evidence

Kamenetz (2019) states that 80% of parents and 85% of teachers are open to climate education. Lawson (2019) pointed out that youth have a big impact on their parents’ lifestyle and have the potential to bring change at home. Kwauk (2021) reported that climate education has more impact than the use of solar or wind energy. In order to create quality climate education, schools have to focus on head (knowledge), heart (emotions), and hands (action) (Singleton, 2015).

The impact of climate action education

Climate education can have lots of impact: it offers green skills which will only become more crucial in the future, it has a financial impact and a direct impact on emission of carbon dioxide, which is the main cause for climate change. As the Global Green Skills Report defines: “An explosion in certain sustainable finance skills A promising development is that workers in the US and Europe are quickly acquiring a set of skills at the intersection of finance and sustainability. Skills in carbon accounting, carbon credits, emissions trading, impact assessment, and sustainability reporting are among the fastest-growing green skills in the US and the EU.”

TAG's Goals

Reducing carbon emissions

TAG has developed a unique algorithm and app “EarthProject” which points out which actions every learner, parent, and teacher can take. Once actions have been taken, it shows the amount of carbon avoided, reduced, and removed by taking those actions. One can also create teams and launch small contest between classrooms or offices, so they know who took the most effort for a certain time. This way TAG can validate and show the impact of climate education per country, age level and category.

The case for financial benefits

Taking action for climate automatically leads to financial sustainability: win-win!. Going to school or work by bike instead of car, using LED lights instead of lightbulbs, plant-based menu instead of meat, or Investing in home energy efficiency measures; what is good for climate is also good for one’s wallet. Rebecca Chamaa told the Business Insider: “I’ve adjusted my lifestyle to reduce my impact on climate change, and I’m saving money as a result.”

Apart from that there’s the case for education. World Bank claims that “Education is more than an expenditure line item: it is an investment – in teachers and students, but also in a country’s future workforce. Education brings a return of about 9-10%. This means that every year of learning generates about a 10% increase in earnings annually.” 

The effects of the climate emergency are harsh: Deloitte reflects that insufficient action to address climate change could cost the U.S. economy $14.5 trillion by 2070. Education is also required to make people understand why we need a shift to a green economy. In fact, it is an accessible first step to behavior change. People need to see and understand benefits prior to making changes in their lifestyle. For instance, one will need to see benefits of switching to an electric car prior to making the decision to make a purchase. 

About Take Action Global

Take Action Global is a NGO with 501(c)3 status, based in Florida and Belgium. TAG has a team of 15 people working on several initiatives, including teacher training (Climate Action Schools), a live online event yearly reaching 250,000 people (Climate Action Day) and climate action research. TAG is associated with the United Nations, named a World Economic Forum 4.0 Lighthouse, and part of UNESCO’s Green Education Partnership. Partners include NASA, LEGO Group, the NYC Mayor’s Office, the U.S. Department of State, and Cartoon Network.

TAG programs have been endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall, HE President Santos from Colombia, and HRH Prince William.

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