Italy’s education minister, Lorenzo Fioramonti, has just made a move demanding public schools require each student in every grade to study climate change and sustainability.
This will go into place next school year. Students from grades first through high school will all receive these lessons.
According to Reuters, all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start of the next academic year in September.
“The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model. I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school,” says Fioramonti.
He proposed getting the funding for this new program by new taxes on airline tickets, plastic, and sugary foods, but many critics argued the Italian citizens were already over-taxed. Fioramonti argues, however, that this tax will encourage citizens to limit their consumption of plastic and sugary foods which has such a negative effect on the environment.