Education is key in 'climate proofing' the future, according to Green MEP Jean Lambert speaking at the NUT conference in Harogate.
Addressing teachers and education specialists Jean, who was a teacher herself before becoming an MEP, said; "As the UK looks set to experience the warmest April on record it is obvious that the climate is changing dramatically. We have to reconsider our ideas of development and responsibility to ensure that we are 'climate proofing' our own lives, in our places of work and where we teach.
"Climate change can not be addressed simply through money. It requires a change in behavior and an understanding of cause and effect. Turning off the lights becomes not only good domestic economics but an act of international solidarity. The world's poorest countries are suffering the effects of the rich world's careless lifestyle.
"We need to understand that the effects will not only be felt abroad - out of sight, out of mind as it were - but also at home. As Green MEP for London and originally from Essex, I think of Canvey Island and the Thames Gateway which are both at sea level - not just Bangladesh. This really is an international issue and 'Think Global, Act Local' takes on a new resonance.
"The EU's Sustainable Development strategy recognises the importance of education and training to ensure we provide all citizens with the Key competences needed to achieve sustainable development.
"Teaching about climate change and working on the practical consequences has a real purpose and urgency. Education, across the age range really has the power to transform our lives and our world."
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.