Climate action

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Acknowledging that the UNFCCC is the primary forum for negotiating the global response to climate change, this Goal aims to: strengthen resilience to climate related hazards and disasters; integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning; improve education and capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning; and implement commitments to support developing countries in this context. Read more on the UN SDGs website…

See lesson plans, posters and other resources on the World’s Largest Lesson website

You could use this film clip to introduce a lesson about climate action. On 23 September 2014, poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, from the Marshall Islands, addressed the Opening Ceremony of the UN Climate Summit. She read out this poem she’d written to her seven-month-old daughter – read the full poem on her blog.

Here are some teaching ideas for exploring this Goal through different subjects:

English / Mother tongue: Pupils could watch the clip or read the poem, making a note of the negatives associated with climate change that the poet mentions, then the positive responses she suggests. Is there a place or environment they would miss, if it was lost to climate change?

Maths: Students could explore the numbers of species endangered by climate change; these could be compared to the number of people in your local area or country. Students explore ways to present this information such as a hierarchy or pictograms.

Geography: Students could explore the impact of climate change in a particular location. How would the environment be affected? How would people’s lives change? What would the economic impact be?

Science: Students could explore the causes of climate change and investigate some of the technologies that have been developed to reduce the impact, for example, alternative energy sources, carbon capture, biofuels and smart grid technologies.

Teaching resources

Lesson plans:

The Impact of Pollution on Our Planet and Our Lives – 60 mins, ages 11 to 14. Suitable for Geography, Science, Language comprehension.
Protect Life Below Water – 60 mins, ages 11 to 14. Suitable for Geography, Science. (NB: very large file, may take a while to download.)

Read our feature article on Climate Change (which also includes the poem!)

Browse through further resources that can help you teach about climate change

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Global goals

Click on the images below to explore the other Global Goals: