Italy will become the first country in the world to add climate change to public school science programs, said the country’s education minister on Tuesday.
The measure, which requires the topic to be studied for about one hour per week, will go into effect starting next year, Lorenzo Fioramonti confirmed through social media.
The plan, a brainchild of Fioramonti, seeks to create a generation of students familiar with the causes and risks associated with climate change.
The minister also said that more traditional scholastic topics such as geography and physics would be taught in a way to highlight sustainable development starting with the 2020-2021 school year, which begins in September next year.
According to modeling by the World Health Organization and environmental lobby groups, Italy is one of the European countries most likely to be impacted by climate change, with weather patterns impacting the country’s massive agricultural sector, glaciers in northern Italy melting and causing floods and landslides, and Venice and other seaside cities and towns subject to more severe and more frequent floods.