Our vision at the Center for Climate Literacy is that students in all schools, in all subject areas, and at all grade levels are given education that prepares them—conceptually, emotionally, socially, and culturally—for the challenges of growing up in a climate-changing world. We work with teachers to equip young people with the skills they need to stop the climate breakdown, and the skills they need to imagine, design, and create an ecological civilization. We believe young people have a right to futures in which they can thrive without compromising the Earth’s biospheric integrity.

Our mission is to accelerate a transition to an ecological civilization by transforming education from within. We believe that mobilizing and supporting classroom teachers to incorporate elements of climate literacy in their everyday teaching will be a game changer. Our work is grounded in academic research and teacher education experience. Our goals, however, are not academic but practical and transformative.

The work we do is framed by two premises and three commitments:

Recognition of where we are. We’re waging a war against the planet and we’re winning. We have created a civilization whose operations are shredding the Earth’s web of life. We need to recognize that we’re in a climate emergency and act accordingly.

Vision of where we’re going. We believe that our future does not have to be as destructive as our past. We can choose to transition to a sustainable, just, and ecological civilization. This is the future we can create together, acting in our capacities as teachers and educators.

To achieve this vision, we are guided by the following commitments:

Commitment to Climate Literacy. We believe that in order to transition to an ecological civilization we need to achieve universal climate literacy. We need to become a climate literate society. Climate literacy is an understanding that includes numbers and facts (i.e. climate science) but centers on developing values, attitudes, and behavioral change aligned with how we should live to build sustainable futures.

Commitment to Education. We believe that teaching about climate change should be at the heart of our educational practice. Climate literacy can be scaffolded, integrated across all subject areas, and taught to all K-16 students and across all subject areas.

Commitment to Stories. We believe that stories are ground zero for building universal climate literacy. Literature, film, games, and art for young people are not additional but the most important avenues for raising climate awareness and mobilizing action.

A detailed overview of the Center's mission, projects, and goals

The Center for Climate Literacy is sponsored by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.