Monday, 8 November, 2021 - 13:00

Climate Change Education: Reflecting on COP26.

This event, part of the ANGEL Seminar series, will look at the present state of, and future of climate change education.

About this event

Climate change is clearly the number one global topic today. All regions of the world are being affected by the changes taking place within our climate. This event aims to address the ways in which education can respond to these challenges, what is currently happening in terms of educational programmes within specific countries, and how a sense of hope and positive change could be reflected within the learning that is taking place.

This event, along with the other activities of the ANGEL network, are co-funded by the European Union.*


  • Knut Hjelleset (RORG-network)
  • Helen Kopnina (Northumbria University / The Hague University of Applied Sciences)
  • Noah Weeth Feinstein (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Bernard Combes (UNESCO)
  • And Chaired by Doug Bourn (DERC / UCL Institute of Education)


The event will specifically address the following:

  • What is happening within countries to ensure that education is seen to play a major role in building understanding, a sense of engagement within societies and to create a sense of hope and to challenge fears for the future?
  • Are current educational approaches to the topic effective?
  • How to build on the enthusiasms generated by many young people around the world to address the climate emergency in a form that encourages a process of structured learning rather than a culture of short-term activism.
  • Post COP 26, what do educators see as their roles and responsibilities to ensure that climate change remains a high priority within all education programmes around the world?

Format & Registration

This event is to be hosted via Zoom. Registered participants will be emailed a link in the days before the event, and also 30 minutes before as a reminder. Time after the presentations will be given over to a Q&A with participants. Tickets are free, but you must register via the Eventbrite page using the button below.

The ANGEL Seminar Series

This event is part of a series of online events run by the Academic Network for Global Education & Learning. The series is aimed at Global Education professionals, as well as anyone with an interest in research in the fields of Development Education, Global Citizenship Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainable Development, Education for Peace, and Intercultural Education. You can view the main webpage for the series here.


Knut Hjelleset is the board leader of the RORG-network in Norway, a national platform for NGOs doing development education projects, and a recent graduate from the MA program at the Development Education Research Centre, where his research project addressed how regional contexts can have an influence on how development education is conducted in formal schools.

He will be discussing approaches to climate change education in Norwegian schools, as well as his research on how proximity to Norway's oil and gas industry impacts teaching methods and pedagogical approach in climate change education. (Photo: Tore Sætre / Wikimedia)


Helen Kopnina is currently employed at both Northumbria University in the UK, and The Hague University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands - coordinating a Sustainable Business program, and conducting research within the inter-related areas of environmental sustainability, environmental education, biological conservation, and animal ethics. Helen is the author of over two hundred articles and (co)author and (co)editor of seventeen books.

Helen will be discussing the topic of: "Integrating an ecocentric ethic into climate change education", with reference to some of her recent research.


Noah Weeth Feinstein is Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction and Community & Environmental Sociology and Director of the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). Professor Feinstein studies informal education, public engagement with science, and the intersection between science and environmental education with a particular focus on climate change. He has examined the governance of environmental education in national and regional contexts, the place of sustainability within science education, and the implications of the “post-truth era” for science education. His recent work focuses on the role of education in climate change adaptation. He was a co-author of the 2016 US National Academies report on science literacy and contributed to the 2009 IALEI report on climate change and sustainable development in education.

Noah will be discussing the relationship between education and climate change adaptation/transformation, as well as reflecting on the status of climate change education in the US more generally.


Bernard Combes coordinates the implementation of UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development for 2030 priority action areas on 1) accelerating local level actions and on 2) empowering and mobilizing youth to foster local networks and platforms for learning and multi-stakeholder collaboration to better integrate ESD programmes and perspectives into inter-generational dialogues, communities’ planning and decision-making processes. He is also the Education Sector focal point for biodiversity and UNESCO focal point for the Earth Charter, and among other things, works to reinforce cooperation with other agencies and stakeholders in Communication, Education and Public Awareness in the areas of biodiversity, climate, water, oceans, cities and sustainable lifestyles.

Bernard will be discussing:

  • UNESCO’s climate change education work and their new ESD for 2030 framework
  • The results from Learn for Our Planet - a global review of how environmental issues are integrated in education, and preliminary findings of a global survey of teachers readiness to integrate environmental and climate issues into their teaching
  • Priorities – recommendations for the future


* The establishment of this network and website has been made possible with funding support from the European Commission. The activities and publications of the network are the responsibilities of the organisers, the Development Education Research Centre, and can in no way be seen as reflecting the views of the European Commission. 

ANGEL Network,
Development Education Research Centre (DERC)
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

Partner organisations

Carousel image attribution: "panoramio (2525)" by William “Patrick” Ma. Under CC 3.0

The establishment of this network and website has been made possible with funding support from the European Commission.
The activities and publications of the network are the responsibilities of the organisers, the Development Education Research Centre, and can in no way be seen as reflecting the views of the European Commission.