On 4 October 2022, the Agence française de développement (AFD) organized, with the support of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), an online event to discuss the role of education for a socially just ecological transition. It demonstrated a strong agreement on the need to reinvest in education as a continuum of solutions from basic to higher, general to technical and vocational education, as well as employment and entrepreneurship.
Taking place in the context of the FICS Coalition for Social Investment, speakers came from international organizations (ILO, UNICEF), public development banks (AFD, CEB, CDP), ministries (Adapt’Action), NGOs (CEE, India; Office for Climate Education) and brought together around forty online participants (GPE, CONFEMEN, UNICEF, IIEP UNESCO, members of the Coalition for Social Investment, etc.).
Organized in the run up to the third edition of the Finance in Common Summit and COP 27, a number of main messages were agreed, namely:
- On the importance of putting education back at the centre of climate action, as it is an essential lever of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs;
- On the need to massively re-invest in education, by Public Development Banks and States, while the social sectors have proven their essential role to strengthen resilience during the pandemic;
- On training teachers, to ensure that explaining ongoing climate change can build on knowledge of the phenomenon, exercising critical thinking, and setting the terms of the debate with the students;
- On the challenge of developing programs / curricula oriented towards ecological transition. This concerns all disciplines – science education, environmental sciences, social sciences and interdisciplinary fields;
- On the role of pedagogical issues. Dealing with the ecological transition makes it possible to test new approaches (e.g. active pedagogy, reproduce the scientific approach), to promote interdisciplinarity (environmental sciences, human and social sciences), to apply lessons to a local context;
- On the ability of education to free the imagination for a sustainable future. Faced with the ecological crisis, education makes it possible to respond to eco-anxiety and to supplement scientific knowledge with a renewed capacity for action and invention, through common narratives for example;
- Finally, on the central place that school plays as a space where it is possible to regain a capacity for action, in the face of the ecological challenge. It connects the classroom with local communities. And it connects generations and helps to develop new positive and hopeful stories.
For more information on the role of Public Development Banks and the Finance in Common initiative for education and just ecological transitions, please contact Blaise Gonda (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Arthur Pataud (email@example.com).