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Italy to include climate change on school curricula

08 November 2019

"I need to make the Italian training framework the main instruction framework that puts the earth and society at the center of all that we learn in school".

Until August, 5-Star had governed Italy for more than a year with the nationalist League party, led by Matteo Salvini, who is still the country's most popular politician, and who has a sceptical view of climate change.

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Speaking earlier to Reuters news agency, Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, nearly one hour per school week, to climate change issues.

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Now when kids show up to school next September, they'll have about an hour a week (or 33 hours per year) of a climate-change-related course.

Fioramonti, aneconomics professor at South Africa's Pretoria University, told Reuters in an job interview that the full ministry "is now being improved to make sustainability and weather the middle of the schooling product".

In an interview, Fioramonti said that a group of experts - including Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Harvard Institute for International Development, and Kate Raworth of Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute - will act as "peer reviewers" for ministry staff preparing the curriculum.

Students across all grades will have environmental education built into their existing civics classes, with other subjects including geography, maths and physics being taught from the perspective of sustainability.

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In September, he also encouraged students to skip school and take part in the Fridays for Future protests which call on world leaders to take more decisive action to tackle climate change.

In a short time, the minister has become the target of attacks from the opposition by its proposals, including the withdrawal of crucifixes from the classrooms or the new fees for the plane tickets, the plastics and sugary drinks and foods, which the Parliament must approve within the Budget law for the next year.

The Five Star Movement, to which Fioramonti belongs, has a history of environmental concern and grassroots activism.

Italian Government has been largely inclined towards greener policies despite initial opposition to his ideas, Fioramonti said.

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"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".

Italy to include climate change on school curricula