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Climate Action Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 19 November 2019

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Questions (56)

Joan Burton


56. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to equip teachers and schools, particularly within the subjects of geography, CSPE, science and English, with the tools and guidance to explore the topic of climate change through their specification and curriculum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47486/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Department’s National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland 2014 2020 is one of the key strategies underpinning the Action Plan for Education 2016-2019. Since the publication of the National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the Government in recognising the need to share in the international responsibility to address the increasingly global challenges we face, launched The Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2030, a whole-of-Government initiative to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. This is informed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many complementary themes can be identified between the Government’s National Implementation Plan for SDGs and the ESD Strategy in, for instance, areas such as awareness raising and sustainability in action.

The ESD strategy aims to ensure that education contributes to sustainable development by equipping learners with the relevant knowledge (the ‘what’), the key dispositions and skills (the ‘how’) and the values (the ‘why’) that will motivate and empower them throughout their lives to become informed active citizens who take action for a more sustainable future.  This is achieved through the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the curriculum, into Initial Teacher Education and teacher CPD, into assessment and into the inspection process.

An Interim Review of the ESD Strategy was completed in 2018 and the report is available on the Departments website:

The NCCA conducted an audit: Education for Sustainable Development: A study of the opportunities and linkages in the primary and post-primary curriculum (2017). The audit identified key ways in which the curriculum supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The full audit is available at the link:

The SEAI will develop a Junior Cycle short course on Climate Action under the National Climate Action Plan. The Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment will provide any support the SEAI may require in this regard.