Student Esha Marwaha Petitions Michael Gove To Keep Climate Change On Curriculum


A 15-year-old student has started a petition to urge Michael Gove to keep the climate change debate on the curriculum - and has already gained thousands of supporters.

Esha Marwaha from Hounslow, West London, launched a campaign on 18 March demanding the education secretary scrap his plans to remove the topic from geography lessons, and has already had 10,000 signatures.

"All young people need to be educated about climate change, we all deserve the opportunity to fight for our planet and our futures," she told The Huffington Post UK. "Michael Gove cannot be allowed to take this passion away from us.

"Climate change is the most urgent issues facing modern society. I was inspired to take action by learning about it at school, to tackle climate change we need to be educated and united to succeed."

On Monday, it was revealed the debate about climate change had been axed from lessons for children under 14.

The new guidelines have no mention of climate change and just one reference to how carbon dioxide produced by humans impacts on the climate, the Guardian reported.

"Without school education we will be left with a disempowered generation that will have to suffer the consequences of climate change but won't know how to tackle it," Marwaha continued.

"Young people will feel detached from their futures and betrayed by our representatives. We cannot let this happen, climate change must stay in the curriculum."

Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins said: "The irony is that most school children would probably have a better grasp than some government ministers of the importance of tackling climate change.

"Removing climate debate from the national curriculum would be yet another backward step by a government that is failing to stand up for the environment."

In a foreword to the petition, which is hosted on, Marhawa writes:

"Our government, part of the generation who bear much of the responsibility for this problem, intend to not only fail to act on climate change themselves but to obscure the truth from children and young people.

"It is outrageous that Michael Gove can even consider the elimination of climate change education for under 14s.

"We must keep climate change in the curriculum in order for young people take on this challenge of tackling the threat posed by our changing climate."

Marwaha, along with members of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, plan to deliver the petition to Downing Street in the near future.

"The support has been amazing," she says. "There are so many people out there passionate about this issue and the stories of people fighting to tackle climate change all across the country have made me even more certain that we need climate change in the curriculum.

"I hope my story inspires people too, climate change is happening and we must work together to solve it."

Toni Pearce, deputy president of the National Union of Students, said: "Climate change remains one of the single most urgent and important issues facing us, and it sends worrying signals about their priorities if politicians remove it from the curriculum. It is a complex issue and there is a lot of information in the media and from those with vested interests presenting themselves as experts, so it's important it is increasingly embedded throughout the curriculum rather than being quietly pushed out."

A spokesperson for the Department for Education told HuffPost UK they would not be commenting specifically on the petition, but responded to the claims climate change would be axed from lessons.

"This story is nonsense. All children will learn about climate change. It is specifically mentioned in the science curriculum and both climate and weather feature throughout the geography curriculum."

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