Washington (February 13, 2019) – Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) are introducing legislation that would create a grant program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to assist state and local education agencies, institutions of higher education, and professional associations to improve climate literacy. Only 30 percent of middle school teachers and only 45 percent of high school science teachers understand the extent of the scientific consensus on climate change. The legislation would help ensure that students at all age levels are taught about climate adaptation and mitigation; climate resilience; and the effects of climate change on the environment, energy sources, and social and economic systems.
“Recent scientific reports have outlined exactly how catastrophic climate change will be if left unchecked, and how urgent and global our response must be,” said Senator Markey. “This bill will help provide our students, teachers, and workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to understand climate change and participate in a global clean energy economy. I thank Rep. Dingell for her partnership on this legislation and look forward to working with my colleagues on prioritizing the issue of climate change in our education systems.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
The Climate Change Education Act would also support professional development for teachers; science, technology, health and engineering education; the development of climate literacy curricula; and improve the quality of and access to training and certification for green-collar jobs. The Climate Change Education Act authorizes $20 million a year from 2020 through 2025 to be appropriated to NOAA to establish the Climate Education program office and administer the grant program.
The legislation is endorsed by the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, North American Association for Environmental Education, Alliance for Climate Education, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, National Center for Science Education, EarthDay Network, Union of Concerned Scientists, National Recreation and Park Association, National Science Teachers Association, and the National Wildlife Federation.
Senators co-sponsoring the legislation include Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)