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Luciana Berger: Michael Gove Is Trying To Airbrush Climate Change Off The National Curriculum

03/05/2013 08:54 BST | Updated 03/05/2013 09:06 BST
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Education Secretary Michael Gove is trying to "airbrush" climate change from the national curriculum, shadow climate change minister Luciana Berger has said.

Berger was responding to reports that Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey had written to challenge Gove about removing climate change from the geography curriculum.

According to the Guardian, Davey offered his "strong support" for climate change to feature explicitly in the geography curriculum as it is "one of the most important global issues of this century".

He wrote the private letter in the wake of two petitions to keep climate change in the curriculum attracted more than 65,000 signatures over the last two months.

The campaign was started in March amid concerns that references to climate change had been taken out of the draft national curriculum, which is due to be introduced in England's schools next year.

Berger said: "We have a responsibility to inform young people about global warming and the impact of climate change both here and across the world.

"Just this week, global carbon dioxide levels reached a record high.

"It's no surprise that Michael Gove is trying to airbrush climate change from the curriculum given this Tory-led Government's disastrous green record.

"Despite promising to lead the greenest government ever, on David Cameron's watch investment in clean energy has fallen by half and the Government is refusing to set a de-carbonisation target for 2030."

The draft curriculum does not contain references to climate change in geography, and includes a section called ''earth science'' under the chemistry syllabus which says 11 to 14-year-olds should learn about ''the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate'' as well as ''the efficacy of recycling''.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "It is not true that climate change has been removed from the new draft national curriculum.

"In fact, the curriculum will give pupils a deeper understanding of all climate issues and has been welcomed by the Royal Geographical Society - which has specifically praised its treatment of climate change.

"Climate change is mentioned in the science curriculum, and both climate and weather feature throughout the geography curriculum.

"Nowhere is this clearer than the science curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds, which states that pupils should learn about the 'production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate'.

"This is at least as extensive, and certainly more precise, than the current science curriculum for that age group, which says only that 'human activity and natural processes can lead to changes in the environment'."