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Climate & Environmental Justice

The NEA supports advancing climate solutions and environmental justice. From curriculum planning, to advocacy, to policy, we have resources to help you take an active role in protecting the environment and preparing for the future.
A sign held up at a rally that reads, "Climate Justice Now"

The NEA recognizes the scientific consensus that global climate change is largely caused by human activity, resulting in significant, measurable damage to the earth and its inhabitants. We believe that  humans must take immediate steps to change activities that contribute to global climate change, including developing and implementing environmentally sound practices that abate global climate change and bring justice to the communities who suffer most from its negative impacts.

Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and other communities of color, low-income communities, people with disabilities, and under-resourced urban and rural communities bear the greatest burdens from negative climate impacts, from greater exposure to pollution to greater vulnerability to extreme weather. Any climate actions or solutions must prioritize, elevate, and engage these communities to advance equity and environmental justice. Given their experiences with the impacts of climate change and environmental injustice, these communities have crucial insight into climate solutions and must be at the helm of climate actions, both in and out of school buildings and worksites. 

Addressing Climate Fatalism

two young boys pick up trash on a sunny beach

New! Earth Day Activity Guides

To help you plan for Earth Month, NEA has partnered with Subject to Climate, EARTHDAY.ORG, Learning for a Sustainable Future, and the Worldwide Teach-In to provide resource guides for educators. Designed to inspire students to become environmental stewards, the free resources include K-12 lessons and activities that are easy to integrate into your existing curriculum.

Resources for Educators

Many students want to take an active role in combating climate change and advancing environmental justice. And many educators want to teach about climate change, but say they either don't know enough about it or don't know how to fit it into their curriculum. These resources can help you incorporate lessons about climate change into your classroom and help your students understand climate change as an intersectional crisis that requires a diverse and multi-sector community of thought leaders to solve.
An elementary student writing on a workbook, sitting with other students.

Teaching Climate

This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website provides background information, strategies for engaging youth, teaching tools, and professional development opportunities.
Activist holding a sign that reads, "There is No Planet B"

Free Course: Our Earth's Future

In this free course from the American Museum of Natural History, experts explain the science of climate change and how to talk about it.
Three students looking over a planter box outside.

Climate Generation’s Teach Climate Network

The Teach Climate Network provides resources, professional development, and community networking to teach climate change in all disciplines, grade levels, and educational settings.
Wind turbines in a tundra

The CLEAN Collection

The CLEAN Collection provides over 850 high quality and rigorously reviewed climate and energy educational resources aligned with the Climate Literacy and Energy Literacy frameworks and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Aerial image of a building with greenery

Green Building Lessons and Training

The US Green Building Council offers resources and professional development for K-12 educators who are looking for high-quality classroom content about green building.
A student placing a hand on a poster about the earth

SubjectToClimate's Resource Database

This resource database is complete with teaching tips, scientist notes, and teacher-developed lesson plans that show educators of all grade levels how to integrate climate change into what they already teach.

Climate Education in Action

Lessons about climate change can be taught at any grade level and in any subject. Here's how NEA members from across the country are incorporating climate education into their classrooms—and empowering students to take action.
Climate activists marching with signs that read, "Act Like It"

Green Schools Now!

Educators are key in the battle against climate change—there’s no time left to lose.
Student holding a painting of a man in front of a the earth that says "Denial is Not a Policy"

Climate Change Education in Every Subject

New Jersey is the first state in the nation to integrate climate change standards across grade levels and content areas.
AEA Learn and Lead Podcast Banner

Listen: Learn and Lead Podcast

Three Arizona Education Association members share their experience developing the stack of climate change & environmental justice micro-credentials.
Activists holding signs about stopping climate change

Environmental Justice: Why We Should Teach it and How to Get Started

People of Color and low-income communities suffer the harshest consequences of pollution and climate change, but future educators are starting to bring climate action into classrooms.
kid drawing of earth and a separate drawing of fire

Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators

In 2023, eight NEA members were recognized by the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators for their commitment to environmental education.
Four representatives from the Unified School District of De Pere holding up their Green Ribbon Award Plaque

Green Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education recognized 26 schools, 11 districts, and 4 universities for their sustainability practices as part of the Green Ribbon Schools Program.

Transforming our K-12 system to face the climate crisis

From air pollution to extreme weather, climate change is threatening our communities, our health, and our students’ ability to learn—that is why we must come together to build a greener future. To identify how schools can become models for climate action, NEA President Becky Pringle helped develop the Aspen Institute-led K12 Climate Action Plan. Using an equity lens, the report outlines solutions, resources, and best practices for schools, as well as policy recommendations for lawmakers at all levels. 

Read the report

Resources to help you take action

These resources developed by our partners at This is Planet Ed, Climate Jobs National Resource Center, and Undaunted K-12 can help you implement climate solutions in your school.

  • This question guide can be a starting point for conversations about climate action in your district.
  • A menu of climate solutions that can be implemented in schools, from 100% renewable energy resolutions to green school yards.
  • This report can help you make the financial case for net-zero energy schools. 
  • A national perspective on the role the K-12 sector must play in our national climate strategy.

More Policy Resources

An elementary student writing on a workbook, sitting with other students.

Make Schools Safer and Healthier

Tell your representatives to support The Green Ribbon Act.
A school bus driver giving a student a high-five

How to Fund K-12 Climate Solutions

These resources from Planet Ed provide details about climate provisions in laws that schools can use to create healthier and more sustainable learning environments.
Student activists hold up signs reading, "Green New Deal Now"

Green New Deal for Schools Campaign

This Sunrise Movement campaign seeks to radically transform our school system to face the climate crisis and make sure all students have the right to a safe and good education—no matter their zip code or the color of their skin.
A climate action sign reading, "Time Is Up"

Resources to Support Advocates

The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council publishes research to help advocates make the case for green schools, including fact sheets, legislative information, and surveys.
A plant growing out of a jar of coins

People, Pensions, and the Planet

This Climate Finance Action website provides resources and information on the connections between your pension and the climate crisis.
Wind turbine in a green field with a blue sky

Public Pathway Working Papers

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy’s collection of Working Papers offers research on the role of ownership in the energy sector. The analysis evidences an urgent need to pursue a public pathway that reclaims the energy sector and creates the conditions for a planned “just energy transition” for workers.
Becky Pringle speaks at the 2023 NEA RA
Climate justice is at the core of education justice. We see this fight as central to our moral responsibility as educators.
Quote by: Becky Pringle, NEA President

Bills in Congress

Learn NEA's position on pending legislation related to public education, and take action to protect our schools

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.