Italy to make climate change lessons mandatory

The Italian government has decided to make it mandatory for schoolchildren to study climate change, starting from September next year.

Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti announced the move during a news conference in Rome on Tuesday.

Lessons will be given to students from elementary through high schools.

Schools will be required to provide at least 33 hours of classes per year to teach pupils about the impact of climate change and countermeasures. Students will also study how to protect the environment while maintaining economic growth.

Fioramonti said some nations provide environmental education, but none of them has made climate change a mandatory part of education. He said Italy will become the first to do so.

The government will draw up a new curriculum with support from international scientists. It says training for teachers will begin in January.

Tackling global warming is a pressing issue for Italy, where a rise in the sea level has worsened high tide flooding in the city of Venice.

Young people across the world are becoming increasingly aware of the global warning issue as Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg is campaigning to tackle climate change.