SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 1922, which will require California students to learn the causes and effects of climate change. Under this bill, climate change education will be a coursework requirement for students in grades 1 through 6, and a graduation requirement for students in grades 7 through 12, starting 2025.
California is seen as a world leader when it comes to environmentalism. In the 1970s, California adopted the California Environmental Quality Act to provide some of the strictest environmental reviews on new infrastructure projects. In 2006, California established the first comprehensive greenhouse gas regulatory program in the United States, and this year the Governor set aside $12 billion over the next 5 years to combat climate change. California is committed to maintaining its leadership.
“Climate change needs to be a part of our day-to-day academic discussion. This past decade has already started with extreme climate incidents occurring across the globe. As the youth that will inherit the brunt of climate change effects, we need them to be a part of the solution,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “AB 1922 will educate, help prepare, and give our next generation the tools to shape their futures in the wake of our current climate crisis.”
Students will not be the only ones learning about climate change. A recent study by the Nature Climate Change found that teaching children about climate change in schools also significantly increased the parents’ concern over the issue. Additionally, a National Public Radio poll found that 80% of parents in the U.S. supported the teaching of climate change, and 86% of teachers believe climate change should be taught at schools.
“Greta Thunberg, the 17 year old activist, ushered in a new energy to the climate movement. Our youth are ready to join the solution,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “As our federal government takes a step back from environmental protection, California and our children are stepping in.”
“Education is power and we must give our students the tools to tackle the climate crisis,” said Mary Creasman CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters. “Students across California are facing the dire impacts of our climate crisis—missing class due to wildfires, power outages and pollution concerns. They should be equipped with the education to help improve their future. We applaud Assemblywoman Luz Rivas for introducing AB 1922, which takes a step to empower and educate younger generations.”
Italy has taken the lead on the world stage by requiring every grade in its public school system to study climate change. This comes at a time when our federal government continues to limit funding and roll back key environmental policy. In order for California to maintain its leadership, we must educate our future generations on how to create a sustainable future.
Assemblywoman Rivas proudly represents the 39th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Granada Hills, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, and San Fernando.
Judy Yee, Judy.Yee@asm.ca.gov, 916.319.2039