What is climate literacy?

Climate literacy is understanding your influence on climate and climate’s influence on you and society. A climate-literate person understands the essential principles of Earth’s climate system, knows how to assess scientifically credible climate information, communicates about climate change in a meaningful way, and can make informed and responsible decisions regarding actions that may affect climate. (NOAA)

We build upon this definition of climate literacy, knowing that with an issue as wide-ranging as climate change, attaining climate literacy involves all scientific disciplines and a grounding in social, economic, and political forces. With this comes an understanding of environmental justice, how and why climate change disproportionately impacts communities of color, and how these communities are incubators of solutions. In addition, climate literacy includes understanding green career pathways and building a climate-ready workforce. A climate literate person knows the dispositions (how to respond), competencies (skills and abilities of how and when), and environmentally responsible behavior to address climate change.

Climate change education is not confined to the K-12 system. It includes a variety of informal sectors, including museums, aquariums, nature centers, and zoos, as well as post-secondary institutions such as career and technical colleges and universities. It is also a life-long endeavor and needs to engage individuals and communities from our youngest to our oldest members of society and all sectors that work with employees, community members, government agencies, and others. 

We hope this coalition involves organizations representing various disciplines who care about climate change, education, and policy and help us work together to address the threats facing the country and the planet.