Climate change as a school subject: if Italian Minister of Education Lorenzo Fioramonti is concerned, Italian children will not only learn math, history and English in the future, but also everything related to environmental protection and sustainability. This would make Italy the first country in the world to anchor environmental education in the curriculum.
Fioramonti announced in a "Reuters" news interview a few days ago that starting in September 2020, 33 lessons will be held in all Italian schools on climate change. After deducting the holiday season which is about an hour a week.
For example, children ages six to twelve may interact with different cultures and how they approach the environment in the classroom, Fioramonti told the New York Times. At the Gymnasium, for example, the analysis of the UN Agenda 2030 adopted in 2015 and its effects on nature and humanity could be on the curriculum.
Fioramonti is a thorn in the side of the right-wing conservative opposition
But the 42-year-old's plans go further: "We will change the entire ministry to put climate and sustainability at the center of our educational model," Fioramonti told Reuters. He wanted to make Italy the first country ever to understand "the environment and society at the center of everything we learn at school".
The progressive minister is a big thorn in the side of the right-wing conservative opposition. Since joining the Italian government two months ago as part of the Italian government's reshuffle, the left-wing 5-star politician has not only completely transformed his ministry, but has also led a series of far-reaching measures on climate change.
For example, he charged higher taxes on airline tickets, plastic and sugary foods. The revenues generated should in turn flow into environmental education projects. Because Fioramonti was heavily attacked: the Italians have already paid too many taxes and too high taxes, he said of his political opponents. In September, he publicly encouraged teachers and parents to allow their children to go to "Friday for the future" protests instead of going to school, also hailing criticisms of the opposition.
However, Fioramonti was not impressed: the budget for 2020, presented this week in Parliament, includes the plastic tax.
Italy must catch up in terms of climate protection
The measures proposed by Fioramonti are really fundamental: unlike Germany, the awareness of environmental protection and sustainability in the Italian population must first increase.
Disposable plastic cutlery and utensils are extremely popular: Italians use it for picnics on the beach, a quick snack during their lunch break and even in many restaurants. There is no deposit system for plastic bottles. Cities like Palermo, Naples or Milan often sink into smog, because there is a lack of public transport in many places and cycle paths play no role in urban planning. Waste separation and recycling hardly happens – especially in the south, waste is often "disposed of" in catastrophic conditions.
Fioramonti's proposal is therefore right, for two reasons.
1. Fioramonti has understood that climate change is the most important issue for politics and society
It is a task of the century that must now be addressed. Right now Because climate change is not something you believe in or believe. It's a fact. And his struggle is without alternative. If people are not starting to change their behavior and therefore their world fundamentally, soon there will be no basis on which we can deal with the economy, industry and work.
2. Fioramonti also acknowledged that a fundamental structural change is more effective when starting on the front line
Modifying learned behavior patterns is more difficult than learning new ones from scratch. This is why the Italian Minister of Education starts with the smallest company. In the future, Italian children will grow up aware that climate protection is as important as mathematics, physics and history. It will be natural for them to take environmental protection measures in everyday life, because they have learned them at school. As a result, they then transmit this treatment to their descendants, thereby achieving a structural change.
The Germans are interested in climate protection – the government wrongly judges it
In Germany, many things have already been done in terms of environmental and climate protection in recent years. Shops and supermarkets largely dispense with plastic bags, coffee cups are replaced by reusable cups, vegetarian and vegan products are exploding, e-cars are becoming more popular, sustainable fashion is becoming socially acceptable, and children take to the streets on Friday for greater climate protection, the greens are on the rise Many elections have the strongest results ever.
Yet, although so many people have never been interested in these topics, they have not yet arrived in politics and in the curriculum. The federal government has recently lost one of the greatest opportunities to do more for the climate. Instead of an ambitious climate package with a model character, ministers could simply agree on a minimum consensus.
A minister like Fioramonti would therefore also do good to Germany. One who recognizes the signs of the times – and does not ignore them, but reacts to them.
sources: "New York Times", "Reuters", ANSA news agency