Italy introduces mandatory climate change lessons in schools

Lorenzo Fioramonti poses after an interview with Reuters in Rome Nov. 4 2019

Lorenzo Fioramonti poses after an interview with Reuters in Rome Nov. 4 2019. More

"Next year Italy will be the first country in the world where the study of climate change and sustainable development will be mandatory", he said, in comments reported by La Repubblica.

A panel of worldwide scientific experts is reportedly advising Italy's environment ministry on how to redevelop the national curriculum with regard to climate change and sustainability.

Under a new law, all state schools will dedicate around an hour a week to sustainability and climate change issues from the beginning of the next academic year, said Lorenzo Fioramonti.

The 30 hours will be spread throughout the school year, with roughly one hour of instruction as part of a general civics class per week; however, Fioramonti explained that it will eventually become integrated into all traditional subjects, including geography, mathematics, and physics - "a sort of "Trojan horse" that will "infiltrate" all courses".

Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, nearly one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start of the next academic year in September. His views are the opposite of rival party leader Matteo Salvini, who has questioned the validity of climate change.

"The idea is that the citizens of the future need to be ready for the climate emergency", Cramarossa said. A former professor at Pretoria University in South Africa, he has published books on why gross domestic product (GDP) is an inaccurate way to measure wellbeing.

Lorenzo Fioramonti, Italy's education minister, announced Tuesday that new regulations will require students in every grade to learn about climate change and its effects on the environment. Nonetheless, this week the Italian government presented a budget proposal to parliament that included both the plastics and sugary drinks taxes.

"I was ridiculed by everyone and treated like a village idiot, and now a few months later, the government is using two of those proposals, and it seems to me more and more people are convinced it is the way to go", he told Reuters.

The New York Times reports that the school curriculum will be developed in part by environmental experts.

"I want to represent the Italy that stands against all the things that Salvini does", he said. 'We have to build a different narrative and not be afraid of saying something Salvini may not like, because that's why we exist'.

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