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Dingell, Markey, Brownley Reintroduce Legislation to Strengthen Climate Education

Bill would establish education and grant program within NOAA to educate next generation of climate leaders

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26) today reintroduced the Climate Change Education Act, which would establish a Climate Change Education Program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide grants and technical assistance to state and local education agencies, institutions of higher learning, professional associations and academic societies, and youth corps organizations. The legislation would help ensure that graduating students are trained to live, work, and lead in a world increasingly impacted by climate change.
“We cannot fully confront the existential threat of climate change without a thorough understanding of the impact it will have on our lives and the steps we must take to combat it. Students learning these lessons today will be on the frontlines of the fight to save our planet. With this legislation, we will ensure our students and teachers are equipped with the knowledge and support they need to help us address this challenge today and in the future,” said Congresswoman Dingell.

“The young students of today will be the climate leaders of tomorrow, and we must arm them with knowledge to understand and fight back against climate change,” said Senator Markey. “We teach math and reading to prepare our students for their future, and we should help our schools teach them about the impacts of, and solutions for, climate change to protect that future. The Climate Change Education Act would demonstrate our commitment to placing climate education front and center in our nation’s education system.”

“Investing in the next generation’s climate literacy is critical for our planet’s health as we navigate rising sea levels, growing intensity of wildfires, and ever more extreme weather events. This bill provides the necessary resources to develop a strong and innovative climate-ready workforce like atmospheric scientists, emerging technology entrepreneurs, green infrastructure construction workers, and more. I applaud Congresswoman Dingell for her leadership and efforts to equip our children and future generations with the necessary skills to address the climate crisis with the urgency this existential issue demands,” said Congresswoman Brownley.

The Climate Change Education Act would support climate literacy by authorizing $50 million per year between fiscal years 2025 and 2030 for grants and cooperative agreements between NOAA and education entities. In line with the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative, the bill stipulates that 40 percent of the funds for higher education institutions and youth corps organizations would be directed to environmental justice communities.
The legislation is endorsed by the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Wildlife Federation, the National Education Association, the North American Association for Environmental Education, the U.S. Green Building Council, Second Nature, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and
“This new act will apply the scientific and grantmaking expertise and resources of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to giving the next generation the knowledge and skills it must have to tackle climate change through a deeper understanding of its causes, consequences and solutions,” said James Elder, Director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy.

“Our students are aware that climate change is happening and intensifying,” said Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers President. “They are active advocates calling on our leaders to address climate change because they—and generations after them—will have to navigate the effects on their lives, future jobs and changing environment. It is our duty as educators to build students’ understanding of the climate crisis and prepare them for jobs and civic engagement in a world affected by climate change. Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Debbie Dingell’s bill does just that through offering grants so schools can invest in climate education and hands-on learning opportunities. With these programs, we can work to educate the next generation to be significantly more aware of the climate crisis and what to do about it.”
“We can’t solve the climate crisis in one generation. Students need the tools and resources necessary to learn about climate change to create resilient solutions and adapt with the changing needs of our planet,” said Kim Martinez, Vice President of Education and Engagement at National Wildlife Federation. “This bill addresses the critical gap in climate education and would provide hands-on learning, mentoring, and skill development opportunities to ensure the next generation succeeds in stewarding the environment into the future.”

“From greater exposure to pollution to greater vulnerability to extreme weather, Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other communities of color, low-income communities, people with disabilities, and under-resourced urban and rural communities bear the greatest burdens from negative climate impacts. As our country continues to face the increasing consequences of climate change, climate literacy is critically important,” said Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association. “The Climate Change Education Act will not only help our nation’s students learn more about the causes, consequences, and solutions to climate change, but it also will be instrumental in allowing opportunities for educators to have the tools and professional learning they need to prepare their students for the changing planet. We are grateful for Senator Markey’s continued leadership on this important legislation that will make a difference for students, educators, and their communities.”

“NAAEE applauds the introduction of the Climate Change Education Act," said Sarah Bodor, Director of Policy for the North American Association for Environmental Education. "This bill would provide much needed resources to schools and communities who understand the importance of teaching students about climate change and climate solutions but lack the tools and training to do so effectively.”

“Climate and environmental education is the key to entrepreneurism, innovation, jobs, climate security, and climate equity,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of “We support this legislation as a step in the right direction.”

“Educating our students about climate change is a critical step to reach the scale of action necessary to change the trajectory of damage to our planet and ecosystems,” said Anisa Heming, Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. “We are proud to support the Climate Change Education Act and applaud Senator Markey and Representative Dingell for their continued leadership in providing necessary resources to communities, schools, and teachers in their efforts to educate their students.”

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