Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East and youngest sitting MP, today tabled a Bill1 that would ensure that all young people are taught about climate change and the environment in schools. 

The Bill calls for matters relating to climate change and sustainability to be integrated throughout the curriculum in primary and secondary schools and included in vocational training courses. It has been written in collaboration with Teach the Future2 – a school-pupil-led group that campaigns for climate education – and is believed to be the first Bill ever written by students.

This is the Bill’s second attempt at passing in Parliament. It was first tabled in 2021 but fell as the Parliamentary session finished before it could make its way through the necessary stages to become law.

Campaigners are hopeful that the Bill is gathering momentum. Since it was last tabled, it now has the official backing of the Labour Party and cross-party support has grown. It is co-sponsored by four select committee chairs – Philip Dunne, Robin Walker, Greg Clark and Darren Jones – three of whom are Conservative MPs, one Labour. It is also co-sponsored by Green MP Caroline Lucas; Lib Dem MP Layla Moran; SNP MP Mhairi Black; Labour MPs Clive Lewis, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and Zarah Sultana; and former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

School students have long been calling for more teaching about the environment. In 2018, one survey found that 42% of pupils feel that have learnt a little, hardly anything or nothing about the environment at school and 68% would like to know more.3 

Teachers themselves also believe there are opportunities to integrate climate change in their teaching. In a survey of 4,690 secondary teachers, just one third (33%) agreed that climate change is embedded in their school’s curriculum, in their subject, in a meaningful and relevant way.4 Despite this absence, most teachers (89%) reported that issues regarding climate change were relevant to their subject area. Research by Teach the Future found that 70% of teachers feel they haven’t received adequate training to educate students about climate change.5

Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, said: 

“The climate crisis is already affecting people in the here and now. In the coming years, its impacts will grow, as must our action to prevent and mitigate it.

“Right now, our education system is failing to prepare young people for this future. That’s why I’ve re-tabled my Climate Education Bill: to give young people the education they need to understand the world they will inherit and thrive in a net zero society.”

Liv Marshall, age 15, from Teach the Future said: 

“We need the Climate Education Bill to make sure that every child, no matter their background, has the opportunity to learn about the world they’re growing up in, the challenges they’ll face and most importantly, how to fix it.”

·       ENDS –

Notes for editors

  1. The Climate Education Bill can be viewed here
  2. Teach the Future is a youth-led campaign, composed of secondary and tertiary students from all four nations of the UK, aiming to rapidly reorientate the education system around the climate emergency, social justice and sustainability.
  3. The survey by Students Organising for Sustainability UK is available here:
  4. Survey results available here:
  5.  Teach the Future’s research with teachers is available here: