Education, Girls’ Education and Climate Change
This Emerging Issue Report (EIR) explores research and evidence on the relationship between education, girls’ education and climate change. There is scientific consensus that climate change is real, manifested through increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including drought, flooding and cyclones. Climate change, environmental degradation and climate vulnerability are closely linked. Climate change exacerbates environmental and land degradation, especially in areas with drylands and permafrost, river deltas and low-lying coastal areas. There is high confidence that people living in areas affected by environmental degradation are experiencing an increase in the negative effects of climate change. Gender, alongside other drivers of vulnerability and exclusion, is a key determinant of an individual’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change and environmental degradation and influences how climate change is experienced. It is estimated that at least 200 million adolescent girls living in the poorest communities face a heightened risk from the effects of climate change. Evidence and commentary on the role of education, and girls’ education, to address climate change through adaptation, resilience and mitigation is limited, albeit growing. This EIR identifies and summarises the evidence and key commentary around the following themes: links between education, particularly girls’ education, and climate change; how climate and environment matter for achieving gender equality; and why securing girls’ education is an important strategy in addressing climate change. The EIR draws on academic research and literature from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), as well as policy frameworks and grey literature, media articles and blogs from the climate, education and gender fields.
This summary accompanies Emerging Issues Report (EIR) 29, which explores research and evidence on the relationship between education, girls’ education and climate change. As an emerging issue, key trends are revolving around the relationship between education, girls’ education and climate change. However, more robust research is needed to further understanding this area. The available evidence can therefore inform the following recommendations that reinforce mutually positive outcomes for aligned climate, environment, gender and education planning. These have been broadly grouped into the following categories: climate, environment and gender; education, including girls’ education; and disaster response and preparedness.