Climate Education: the state of the industry + a new way forward

Climate Framework
United Kingdom · 2022

The built environment and construction industry, as well as associated professional and educational bodies are showing a momentous culture shift, reporting much more awareness and activity around climate literacy than what was the case a few years ago. However, for every organisation striving for improvement (including undertaking a structured, comprehensive, and critical review of their competence requirements and educational programmes), there are some stuck in ‘business as usual’ mode, making only limited, ad-hoc progress.

Some don’t even know where to start – either due to lack of resources within their organisations (to dedicate the time needed for a comprehensive review and liaison across their different groups/ departments), or because of a shortfall on holistic expertise around the topics that are underpinned by climate change; including climate justice, circular economy, biodiversity, health and connectivity – among the heavily referenced energy and carbon, as well as others. This has over the recent years, limited some of the leading industry organisations to move beyond their genuine commitments onto proper review and implementation of refreshed/new training programmes that incorporate core topics every built environment actor should be aware of and uspkilled with.

The existing business models for content creation and delivery additionally prevent the fast uptake and dissemination of especially the implementation of such holistic training at scale. Where a cross-industry collaboration between various industry organisations, as well as industry and academia can collectively lead to this very needed outcome, the organisations fail to land on working models and systems that can prove to be financially and mutually beneficial to all parties involved. This hinders the delivery of climate-focused education and upskilling at the speed and scale it is needed.

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