sherif1_ HOSHANG HASHIMIAFP via Getty Images_girls school afghanistan HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images

The Climate-Education Crisis

World leaders must acknowledge the deepening links between the climate crisis and education. Over the next 30 years, more than 140 million people are expected to be displaced by climate change across South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, at a cost of some $7.9 trillion.

NEW YORK – Climate change threatens the very future of humanity. Entire villages are already being washed to sea, and conflicts over scarce resources are intensifying around the world. Each year, more and more families are forcibly displaced by extreme weather events, creating a vicious cycle of extreme poverty, acute hunger, and insecurity.

As we mark Earth Day 2021, we must expand our focus to acknowledge the deepening links between the climate crisis and education – an area where we desperately need to translate good intentions and financial commitments into meaningful action. Education for the world’s most vulnerable populations – especially girls and boys displaced by climate-related disasters, armed conflicts, and protracted political crises – must become a top priority in our race to protect humanity and create a more viable future for generations to come.

The challenge we face is unprecedented. Over the next 30 years, more than 140 million people are expected to be displaced by climate change across South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, at a cost of some $7.9 trillion. This wave of mass migration and displacement will disrupt global efforts to expand democratic and responsible governance, and to achieve the targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement.

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