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Climate Change in Education

Advancing solutions to ensure all learners can thrive in a changing climate
Subject to Climate booth

Climate change is affecting learners everywhere — from wildfire smoke negatively impacting healthy development, to heat harming students’ ability to learn, to flooding forcing schools to close. Educational systems — and leaders — must increasingly grapple with how to best support learners, schools, and communities in a changing climate.

Working with schools and initiatives across Harvard — including the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability — HGSE will lead a connected, coordinated, and research-based approach to support the education field in understanding how climate change affects education, how it exacerbates existing inequities, and how leaders can advance solutions and ensure that learners across the world can thrive.

Bridget Long at climate event

“Climate change is not a future problem; climate change is already happening and it affects us all. With about 70 million students enrolled in school from preK through postsecondary education, one in five Americans are currently connected to the education sector, making education a critical lever for change. What we do matters.” 

Dean Bridget Terry Long

HGSE makes a difference by:

  • Preparing education leaders who are armed with research, knowledge, and actionable solutions
  • Generating ideas and evidence to create equitable solutions and improve outcomes for learners in a changing climate.
  • Bringing together system-level leaders, climate experts, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to advance climate solutions through education
  • Engaging in actionable partnerships to:
    • Build the resilience of educational systems to develop action and adaptation plans that support health, safety, and learning
    • Help educators empower learners in understanding climate change — its causes, consequences, and solutions