Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Italy makes climate change lessons compulsory at schools

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Sandra Phillips | 08 November, 2019, 06:27

The Italian government announced that starting next year it will become the world's first country to institute a mandatory course on climate change and sustainable development in all public schools.

In a meeting in his Rome office on Monday, Fioramonti said all state schools would commit 33 hours out of every year, very almost one hour for each school week, to environmental change issues from the beginning of the following scholastic year in September.

"The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model", Fioramonti told the news agency.

Fioramonti is a lawmaker for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement party. "Forget that", Fioramonti said.

The syllabus will be based on the UN's 17 sustainable development goals, including how to live more sustainably, how to combat the pollution of the oceans and how to address poverty and social injustice.

The minister has indicated that civic lessons would revolve around the challenges of climate change.

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That's what I'll do, including the launch of a new effort called Beyond Carbon", the billionaire said at the time . With more moderate views, Bloomberg could draw voters away from former Vice President Joe Biden.

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"Talking about global warming - we are in the middle of May and call upon global warming, because we haven't had a cold like this in Italy in recent years", he said. "And I want to secure this before there is any change in government that can imperil that kind of process". An attempt by a left-leaning government to teach children how to spot disinformation, for example, was discontinued after it lost power. At the start of this school year, he said students would be excused from missing class to participate in Fridays for Future climate change protests.

The government's announcement was welcomed by green campaigners, but some Italians voiced concerns that an emphasis on environmental issues could damage the country's fragile economy.

This month, Italy faced a new economic emergency when the foreign operator of a steel plant in southern Italy, Ilva, said he would retire because the Five Star-led government had made a decision to end criminal immunity for environmental violations, even when the company sought to clean up contaminated facilities. "To listen to people who say different things is good", he said.

Fioramonti said the new government, which has got off to a shaky start with weeks of bickering over the budget, 'will only last if it is courageous, ' and stops letting Salvini set the news agenda.

The Zero Carbon bill aims to make New Zealand one of the first countries to legislate the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions to the point the country becomes mostly carbon neutral by 2050.

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