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Sunset with windmills in the foreground

Source: Reuters/Phil Noble

November 14, 2022

Classroom Resources on Climate Change

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The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) is underway this month, so we’re delving into the most pressing challenge of our modern era: climate change.

Finding climate change resources appropriate for your grade level and curriculum needs can be tricky. As leaders convene in Cairo for COP27, the year’s biggest climate conference, it seems every headline is peppered with technical phrases, from “greenhouse gas emissions'' to “climate pledge.” We want our students to be able to understand the decisions politicians are making about our collective futures, but it’s hard to know where to start.

Not to worry, CFR Education has what you need! Our team has put together a library of resources that address climate change from every angle. Whether your class is exploring the causes of global warming, the Paris Agreement, or how rising temperatures might affect their Starbucks order, we have something to make this complex topic relevant for your students.

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High School

Are you planning a lesson on how governments are addressing climate change?

Each country has approached climate policy differently. Use our learning resource Climate Change Adaptations to explore some ways countries are preparing for the effects of climate change. Or, teach your students about the history of international climate action with the Paris Agreement. And before you assign the latter, check out the supporting teaching resources:

Is your class exploring how foreign policy and climate action intersect? 

Climate change is one of many global problems that transcends borders. Have your students read The Greenhouse Effect to understand why greenhouse gas emissions in one country can be devastating for another. Then, use Reimagining Sovereignty in a Global Era to bring the point home with a video about how fires in the Amazon can be felt around the world. Then, have your students apply their understanding using our mini-simulation on deforestation and sovereignty.

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Are your students wondering what global warming has to do with the Arctic Circle? 

The northernmost region of the world, the Arctic Circle, has become a frontline for the effects of global warming. Use our learning resource Why Scientists Are Watching Greenland to unpack what happens when sea levels rise. After your students get a grasp on the fundamentals, use our learning resource Global Warming Brings Competition to Arctic and our mini-simulation on U.S. Arctic Policy to show them how this issue might affect foreign policy.

Higher Education

Smoke stack
Source: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko

Is your class discussing the global implications of United States climate policy?

National climate policies can have a major impact on global progress against climate change. Facilitate a discussion in your classroom about policies that would cut U.S. emissions and the far-reaching consequences of those decisions with our simulation on Global Climate Change Policy. Or, if you only have a few minutes in your class schedule, try out our mini-simulation on tackling climate change amid the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFR Education

CFR Education is an initiative within the Council on Foreign Relations that aims to make complex foreign policy and international issues accessible for middle, high school and college students through its educational products: World101, Model Diplomacy, and Convene the Council.These resources equip

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