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  • Writer's pictureNsedu Awatt

The Role of Education in Climate Change Adaptation


One of the most complex issues facing the world today is climate change. Across the globe, nations have continued to experience intense droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms, and declining biodiversity attributed to climate change. Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular, apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed mainly to eased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuels.[1] United Nations identifies human activities as the primary driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas.[2]It dramatically impacts our health, environment, and economy at large.

Nigeria, like other countries of the world, has experienced the effect of climate change to various degrees example, the drying up of the southern part of Lake Chad (a section that lies inside Nigerian territory).

Global warming, greenhouse gas effects, flooding, rising sea levels, rising sea temperatures resulting in depletion of marine organisms, wind storms, desertification, erosion, increase in heat-related mortality, dehydration, the spread of infectious diseases, malnutrition, migration of both man and animals among several others are the wide range of the harmful effects of climate change on its inhabitants.

Despite all these effects, Nigeria still needs to catch up in understanding, developing plans, and taking action on climate change issues as it concerns education compared to other developed nations.


The Nigerian educational school curriculum contains topics related to weather change, but the content needs to be more elaborate to educate students on how to address climate change issues.

Inadequate teachers’ qualifications/training and poor infrastructure have been identified as challenges to integrating climate change issues into educational curricula. Providing sufficient school infrastructure should promote students’ knowledge, skills, and understanding to manage their local environments.[3]

Adaptation to climate generally requires the creation of an enabling environment for the implementation of long-term strategic plans. Nigeria has various frameworks, such as the Nigeria Renewable Master Plan (REMP). In 2006, Nigeria, with support from UNDP, produced REMP. REMP is a policy implemented by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment to increase the contribution of renewable energy to account for 10% of Nigerian total energy consumption by 2025. However, a lack of adequate legal backing and insufficient resources and skills have resulted in limited progress toward adopting and using renewable energy.[4]

A study on knowledge of climate change in Nigeria finds that mass media (radio, television, and newspapers) was the largest source of information, followed by contacts with friends. Other sources include the internet, researchers, extension workers, and farmers’ co-operative.[5] To integrate climate change adaptation into every aspect of national life, Nigerians must have awareness, knowledge, and access to understand climate change issues and how it’s impacting their lives and adaptation measures.[6]


Education is vital to the global response to climate change. It helps young people understand and address the impact of climate change, encourages changes in their attitudes and behavior, and helps them adapt to climate change-related issues.

Climate change education should be included across different subject areas at all levels of education. Schoolchildren can champion change if shown the practical application of issues taught on climate change. In achieving this, their teachers must be trained to update their skills and adequate infrastructure provided to compete with other nations. Adaptation to climate generally requires creating an enabling environment for implementing long-term strategic plans.

One of the identified ways to achieve this is to ensure that children engage in practices that protect the natural environment on which they depend and to take actions that are not contributing but prevent further harm to the environment need to mainstream climate adaptation strategies into the educational curriculum if climate change issues are to be addressed in Nigeria.

Additionally, improved information dissemination, access, public awareness, and understanding of the impacts of climate change will promote Nigerian citizens' awareness, knowledge, and access to knowledge of climate change issues. This can be promoted through access to information regarding historical climate, projections of future climate change, potential impacts, causes of vulnerability, technologies, and measures for managing climate risks, and the required skills for implementing these technologies.


The fundamental goal of the educational system in Nigeria is to boost students’ learning, and this is the place where participants continually expand their capacities to create and achieve new patterns of thinking and collective aspirations are nurtured. Education remains a valuable factor in national development, but Nigeria is yet to recognize and adopt education as an effective counter-strategy for climate change adaptation. Nigerian children are not yet adequately educated on the issues of climate change and thus do not have sufficient knowledge of the impacts of climate change on their education and how to deal with situations caused by climate change.[7]

Basic knowledge about climate change, including science and its potential, should be taught objectively and evidence-based in schools to ensure all students understand the fundamentals. The teaching of climate change should be spread across various areas. Ideally, schools should be a place where children are introduced to climate change education and trained on skills to manage their environment and how to sustain their environment.

References [1] Oxford Languages | The Home of Language Data ( [2] What Is Climate Change? | United Nations [3] Amanchukwu, R. N. et al. (2015). Climate change education in Nigeria: The role of curriculum review. Education, 5(3): 71-79. 7c967b/Climate-Change-Education-in-Nigeria-The-Role-of-Curriculum-Review.pdf [4] [5] Nzeadibe, T. C. (2011). Climate change awareness and adaptation in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. African Technology Policy Studies Network. Working paper, no. 57. Nairobi: Published by the African Technology Policy Studies Network. [6] [7] Amanchukwu, R. N. et al. (2015). Climate change education in Nigeria: The role of curriculum review. Education, 5(3): 71-79. 7c967b/Climate-Change-Education-in-Nigeria-The-Role-of-Curriculum-Review.pdf

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