i. Climate change context
Argentina has a federal governance system, with 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires (collectively referred to as provinces here). Each province influences the development of climate change communication and education initiatives, because Argentina’s constitutional mandate to protect the environment lies with the provinces. Specific laws and policies exist primarily on the national level, and the provinces start and manage other initiatives. This country profile provides information on Argentina’s approach to mainstreaming climate change communication and education on the national level. It gives examples of provincial level initiatives only when relevant and reported by Argentina in its official communications.
Located in South America, Argentina has regions with subtropical mid latitude climates and extreme heat conditions. According to the World Bank, natural hazards such as floods, volcanic activity, extreme heat, water scarcity, wildfire, and precipitation events happen frequently, and climate change might exacerbate this. The Patagonia region is expected to see some of the most dramatic changes, leading to melting of the Andean glaciers.
According to the Global Carbon Atlas, Argentina is a medium- to high-emitting country, emitting 3.5 t CO2 per person in 2020. The country is home to an estimated 45.2 million people. Its landmass is the second-largest in South America after Brazil, with an area of over 2.8 million km2. Primary sources of emissions in Argentina in 2019 were energy, livestock, industrial processes, and agriculture.
As a Non-Annex 1 (non-industrialized) party to the National United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Argentina ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. Argentina accepted the Doha Amendment in 2015.
The country declared a Climate Emergency on July 17, 2019, the first country in Latin America to make such a declaration. By declaring a Climate Emergency, Argentina aims to implement policies to reduce emissions and create awareness about the climate crisis.
ii. Relevant government agencies
Topics related to climate change have been handled since 2002 by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, when it was designated Argentina’s focal point for the UNFCCC. In this role, the Ministry oversees environmental policies and sustainable development initiatives for the whole country. It develops strategies and plans to fight climate change and houses the UNFCCC ACE (Action for Climate Empowerment) Focal Point. Under decree No. 295/03, the Ministry aims to promote awareness of and disseminate information on Argentina's environmental problems, including those related to global climate change and its impacts.
Under the Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Innovation, the National Climate Change Directorate (DNCC) coordinates National Communications and other tasks such as preparing and proposing policy guidelines on climate change and promoting local activities to raise awareness. It is the central organization to execute Argentina’s climate change initiatives.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MAyDS)is currently composed of the following secretariats, which work together to reach the Ministry’s targets: the Secretariat of Environmental Policy on Natural Resources, the Secretariat of Environmental Control and Monitoring, and the Secretariat of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Innovation. Two other organizations also support the Ministry in its tasks: the Administration of National Parks and the Federal Council for the Environment (COFEMA). In December 2009, the Government Committee on Climate Change was created under the leadership of the National Climate Change Directorate, with the participation of 24 sectoral government entities. The provinces participate in this process through the COFEMA and the Council of Federal Water.
In 2019, Law No. 27.520 established the National Cabinet of Climate Change, which aims to connect different areas of the National Public Administration, COFEMA, and other stakeholders to collaboratively design and develop public policies against climate change impacts.
The National Meteorological System is the organization in charge of meteorological forecasts, and it provides climate forecasts and alerts. It informs the public about climate change and produces a yearly climate report to update Argentinians about the state of their climate. It also provides educational material about topics related to climate change.
Within the agricultural sector, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has developed several programs for better management of natural resources. Under the Ministry, the Climate Change Commission for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Forestry was established in 2014. The goal of the commission is to support the sectors associated with the Ministry in climate change matters.
The Sustainable Production Directorate has been co-coordinating the Climate Change Working Group in the South Atlantic within the Pampa Azul Initiative since 2017. Pampa Azul is a ministerial initiative from the Argentinian government. It focuses on scientific research for national ocean policies, including conservation of biodiversity and marine spatial planning, climate change and climate variability, and environmental risk management.
Education and communication
In Argentina, the Ministry of Education aims to provide quality education to Argentina's population. It develops and conducts educational policies. It takes part in climate change discussions, together with other ministries. In particular, it aims to promote environmental education and incorporate (in compliance with current legislation) the new paradigms of sustainability in formal and non-formal education. The Ministry of Education has worked with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, together with the consensus of the provinces through the Federal Council for the Environment (COFEMA) and the Federal Council for Education, to design the Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (see section 1.III Education and communication).
Working alongside the Ministry of Education, the National Council for the Quality of Education (2006) is a specialized advisory body composed of representatives from the scientific community, the Ministry of Education, the Federal Council of Education, the National Congress, and labor and production organizations. They propose criteria and policies for the evaluation processes of the education system, such as student assessments. The latest recommendations (2021) of the National Council did not include climate change.
The National Institute for Teacher Training (INFOD) is responsible for planning, developing, and promoting teacher training policies. It also provides pre-service and in-service training opportunities for teachers. Some of its workshops and training include climate change, such as the workshop Climate Change is not a Story.
The National Institute of Technology Education (INET) implements policies related to professional technical education at the technical secondary, technical higher, and vocational training levels. It also includes climate change among its plans and reports on climate change projects on its website.
As a decentralized body of the Ministry of Education, the National Commission for University Evaluation (CONEAU) contributes to improving higher education by external evaluation of universities and processes and accreditation of university degrees.
The Council of Universities promotes development strategies for universities. Together with the National Interuniversity Council, it is responsible for public higher education in Argentina. Various policies and initiatives for climate change in higher education in Argentina are in place, such as the addition to Law No. 27.592, which aims to bring a holistic approach to sustainable development, including climate change, into the mainstream for public organizations such as higher education institutions.
The National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies is responsible for strategic planning of government social policies (over short-, medium-, and long-term periods) and programs to efficiently manage resources to achieve sustainable development. The Council brings together a diverse set of actors to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
iii. Relevant laws, policies, and plans
Since 1994, Argentina has promoted caring for the environment through the Constitution of the Argentine Nation. Article 41 declares that Argentinians have the right to a healthy, balanced, and proper environment and have a responsibility to preserve it for future generations. The constitution makes the dissemination of environmental information and education within the government mandatory.
The General Environmental Law (No. 25.675; 2002) was a forerunner in Argentina to implement sustainable policies and preserve and protect biological diversity. The Law mentions 'environmental education' as fundamental for generating good values, behaviors, and attitudes in citizens and for creating a balanced environment. The Federal Environmental Council Framework and the Federal Environmental Pact are ratified under Law No. 25.675 (2002).The Law establishes targets for mainstreaming and planning Argentina's provincial climate change policies and distributes power between the provinces and the federal government.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development led ministerial and stakeholder participation in developing the National Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production (2021). The Strategy is focused on implementing SDG 12 in Argentina. Among its specific objectives are to promote efficiency in the use of resources, reduce the negative impacts of development, strengthen the regulatory framework and business synergy, and facilitate access to information and education for sustainability in a process of social empowerment.
The National Cabinet on Climate Change created several sectoral plans to provide adaptation and mitigation measures. The plans included the National Action Plan for Energy and Climate Change (2017) and the National Action Plan for Transport and Climate Change (2017). Additional plans were developed in 2018 for the industry and agriculture and livestock sectors and in 2019 for the infrastructure and territory sector. The sectoral plans contain some of the actions included in Argentina’s National Adaptation and Mitigation Plan (2019).
Law No. 27.520 on Minimum Budgets for Adaptation and Mitigation to Global Climate Change (2019) is commonly referred to as the “climate change law.” The Law establishes guidelines for access to information and distributes the responsibility for climate change adaptation and mitigation among the provinces. It also includes mechanisms for public participation.
The National Climate Change Directorate (NDCC) created the National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation (2019) as a public tool to guide medium- and long-term actions on climate change. The National Plan aims to oversee greenhouse emissions and mitigation policymaking. One of the plan’s critical steps is to “Deepen awareness and educational work on climate change” (p. 28).
The National Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production (n.d.) incorporates education and communication strategies. The Strategy provides a plan for how Argentina aims to have more sustainable consumption and production.
At the time of this report, Argentina was working on its Decarbonization Plan for 2050. The Plan is part of the Paris Agreement commitments.
The Government of Argentina presented its 2nd Nationally Determined Contributions (2020), in which Argentina commits to UNFCCC objectives and includes climate change as a challenge for Vision 2030. Vision 2030 is a future strategy (not available online at the time of this report) to approach a sustainable, inclusive, and innovative country. According to the Nationally Determined Contributions, Vision 2030 parallels implementation of the Paris Agreement, aims to limit global warming to 2° C, and supports the SDGs. The Vision promotes institutionalization of environmental education and culture. Further, the Nationally Determined Contributions document highlights environmental education as a key theme for Argentina to tackle between now and 2030. The goal is to institutionalize environmental education by providing more training to educators, along with research and establishment of policies for vulnerable groups and for “boys and girls, adults, the elderly, and people with disabilities” (2nd Nationally Determined Contributions, 2020, p. 24).
Education and communication
Following constitutional guidelines on good learning and teaching, the National Education Law (No. 26.206; 2018) establishes “necessary measures to provide environmental education at all levels and modalities of the National Education System, to promote values, behaviors, and attitudes that are consistent with a balanced environment and the protection of the biological diversity.” (Article 89). It is the baseline law for all educational policies in Argentina.
Argentina developed Priority Learning Cores for pre-primary, primary, and secondary education, which guide education throughout Argentina and are equivalent to a national curriculum framework. This report found no references to climate change in the Learning Cores or in the Education Sector Plan, Argentina Teaches and Learns (2016–2021).
The National Strategy for Environmental Education (2017) establishes guidelines to mainstream and build environmental education and policies to promote society's action on climate change and sustainable development. This Strategy aimed to include environmental education in all education activities, from pre-primary to higher education.
In 2020, the Government of Argentina adopted Law No. 27.592 (also known as Law Yolanda). Its objective is to guarantee comprehensive training on topics related to the environment, with a perspective of sustainable development and with special emphasis on climate change, for people who work in public functions. Those people include teachers and university professors.
In 2021, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Education, and the Federal Environmental Council launched the Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (No. 27.621), which aims to implement and mainstream environmental education and sustainable policies in formal and informal education. Article 2 of Law No. 27.621 develops different concepts, or sectoral strategies, to approach implementation of environmental education in the whole country. Based on this Law, the Government of Argentina developed the National Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education (2021), the National Strategy for Sustainability in Argentinian Universities, and Executive coordination of the Jurisdictional Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education.
The National Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education (2021) is both the strategic planning instrument and a permanent and concerted national public policy that reaches all informal, non-formal, and formal areas of environmental education. It is aimed at all ages, groups, and social sectors. It will spread environmental education through short-, medium-, and long-term actions, by deploying jurisdictional strategies that allow provinces to adopt and adapt its implementation through the Jurisdictional Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education.
The Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (No. 27.621; 2021) sees environmental education as a permanent process, supported by a series of objectives, principles, and basic foundations. In its 5th article, it establishes implementation objectives for the National Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education (2021: 1) strengthen the technical capacities for implementing the strategy, through professionalization of the human resources involved in all jurisdictions by means of undergraduate and postgraduate training and improvement; 2) promote Comprehensive Environmental Education programs in training agents of the national, provincial, and municipal public administration and technical assistance to government sectors that require it, for development of their programs and projects within the framework of the National Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education (2021); and 3) prepare, publish, and distribute official and free environmental education materials in all available and appropriate media in accordance with the principles established in this Law.
The Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (No. 27.621; 2021) adds to the mainstreaming policies from the 2nd Nationally Determined Contributions (2020) in environmental education and culture. The government aims to strengthen institutions and initiatives related to the elements of the Action for Climate Empowerment, with steady monitoring to achieve objectives and effectively elaborate the National Action Strategy for Climate Empowerment.
iv. Terminology used for Climate Change Education and Communication
Argentina often includes climate change within environmental topics, such as in the Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (No. 27.621; 2021). Official documents use terms such as ‘environmental education,’ ‘environmental communication,’ ‘environmental culture,’ ‘awareness about environmental issues,’ and ‘global climate change.’
Climate change terminology is not found in the Education Sector Plan, Argentina Teaches and Learns (2016–2021), nor in the National Curriculum Framework, Priority Learning Cores. However, environmental attitudes are objectives taught and developed to create environmental awareness: “development of attitudes as responsibility for the preservation and care of the life and the environment” (Priority Learning Cores, II Cycle; p. 57).
The Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (No. 27.621; 2021) defines environmental education as “The awareness of the importance of the environment, biodiversity and natural resources, their respect, conservation, preservation and prevention of damage” (Article 25).
An environmental education section on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development mentions sustainable development. Although there is no specific mention of climate change, the Ministry connects environmental education to sustainability principles.
Environmental education is a continuous process that promotes sustainability as a social project, understanding that this implies development with social justice, distribution of wealth, preservation and conservation of nature, gender equality, health protection, participatory democracy and respect for cultural diversity. Environmental education, in this sense, seeks a balance between various dimensions, such as social, ecological, political, and economic, within the framework of an ethic that promotes a new way of inhabiting our common home. (n.d., n.p.)
This definition and use of the concept of environmental education shows that it is a holistic concept that includes climate change.
… The Argentine Republic conceives environmental education in an integral and transversal way, as a critical social practice, whose purpose is to promote environmental and climate literacy, in pursuit of the formation of an environmentally sensitive and responsible citizenship in the exercise and defense of the right to a healthy and diverse environment that ensures sustainable development. In this sense, environmental education and the promotion of a culture with a climate perspective are aligned with the principles of intergenerational equity, human rights, interculturality and gender equality. (p. 27)
Environmental education also includes cultural diversity. For example, the Law No. 27.520 on Minimum Budgets for Adaptation and Mitigation to Global Climate Change (2019) states:
Recognition of cultural diversity; the rescue and preservation of the cultures of indigenous peoples: environmental education must contemplate democratic forms of participation in the various ways of relating to nature, valuing the different cultural models as an opportunity for growth in understanding the world. (Article 3e)
For climate change communication, Argentina uses more direct terms. For example, the National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation to the Climate Change (2019) emphasizes deepening awareness and educational efforts on climate change.
The dissemination of information and awareness through education and environmental communication on the causes of climate change, the observed and expected impacts, and the response of the socio-ecosystems to these, are substantial for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. (2019, p.28)
The 2nd Nationally Determined Contributions (2020) aim to strengthen Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (Action for Climate Empowerment), among others, through increased teacher training on “environmental education for climate change” (p. 24). It defines environmental education:
…in an holistic and transversal way, as a critical social practice, whose purpose is to promote environmental and climate literacy, in pursuit of the formation of an environmentally sensitive and responsible citizenship in exercise and defense of the right to a healthy and diverse environment that ensures sustainable development. In this sense, environmental education and the promotion of a culture with a climate perspective are aligned with the principles of intergenerational equity, human rights, interculturality and gender equality. (p. 27)
This is another indicator that climate change education in Argentina is included in environmental education.
v. Budget for climate change education and communication
In Argentina, Law No. 26.206 (2006) guarantees the financing of the education system, setting a minimum of 6% of gross domestic product for the education budget. The education investment increases annually, positioning Argentina as one of the countries in Latin America with a significant education budget. No information is available on the amount dedicated to climate change communication and education.
The Law No. 27.520 on Minimum Budgets for Adaptation and Mitigation to Global Climate Change (2019) does not include a special budget for climate change, despite its name, but rather distributes the different responsibilities for climate change.
The National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation (2019) aims to improve future financing mechanisms for climate change.
The Green Climate Fund and other international organizations have supported climate change projects monetarily, such as projects for renewable energy, and continue to support creating and overseeing Argentinian policies.
Within the 2021 Budget, the Argentinian government assigned US$ 57,621,659.96 (ARS 8,334,944,000) to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Allocating US$2,469,087.84 (ARS 357,152,308) to the Promotion and Management of Climate Change and Sustainable development. No information was available on a specific budget for climate change communication and education.
According to the Voluntary National Review, in 2019 Argentina invested over US$ 2 million (ARS 238 million) to support and improve national policies and strategies aimed at environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
According to a 2014 study on public financing in Argentina carried out by the Climate Financing Group for Latin America and the Caribbean, climate change was expressly mentioned in one budget item totaling US$ 107.982.751.256 in 2014. Although budgets of ministries such as those of Health and Education refer to the importance of a healthy environment, no organization includes activities that expressly mention the importance of climate change.
However, Article 26 of the Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (2021) states that “ The expenses demanded by the application of this law will be allocated annually to a specific item allocated for such purposes in the General Budget Law of the National Administration.”
The 2nd Nationally Determined Contributions (2020) highlight ‘sustainable finances.’ The goal is to create, by 2030, a structure for economic growth that will help Argentina to develop sustainably. Further, the Nationally Determined Contributions call for a redistribution of funds, in particular toward more climate change research and reduced vulnerabilities.
i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education
In Argentina, state education is free at all levels and is mandatory until the age of 14. Since 2004 the Ministry of Education and the 24 provinces of Argentina have worked together to mainstream environmental education in formal education. The Ministry and the provinces agreed on curricula and educational guidelines, creating the national curriculum frameworks (NCF), called Priority Learning Cores. Those Cores exist for pre-primary education, primary education, secondary education, and for the 7th year (septimo año). The Cores are developed for the whole country and establish a foundation for learning that has to be followed by all. A number of provincial curricula complement the national Cores. Climate change is not mentioned directly within the Cores, but the documents emphasize environmental education and sustainable development. A description of the types of climate change-related keywords discussed in the curricula may be found in the MECCE Project Monitoring section of this profile.
Article 25 of the Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (2021) revised Article 92 of the national education law on curriculum content, adding paragraph g: “Awareness of the importance of the environment, biodiversity and natural resources, their respect, conservation, preservation and prevention of damage, in accordance with article 41 of the National Constitution, Law 25,675 and special laws on the matter and international conventions on the environment.”
The Initial Education (pre-primary) curriculum (n.d.) is considered key to developing fundamental skills and behaviors from an early age. It includes awareness about environmental issues and promotes development of good habits to care for the environment.
The Priority Learning Core for primary school is divided into I Cycle and II Cycle. Neither mentions climate change, but they include teaching about environmental problems in Argentina and the world, and searching for solutions to increase environmental awareness.
The Priority Learning Core for secondary education is divided by subjects. The natural science section mentions environmental approaches such as fostering the “Interest and critical reflection on the products and processes of science and the problems related to the preservation and care of life and the environment.” (Basic Cycle of Secondary Education; p. 13).
The Social Science Curricula of the last 2 years of secondary school (years 11+12) develops students’ environmental awareness through a focus on social issues and actions to safeguard the environment. The goal is to improve environmental situations for current and future generations.
Argentina Teaches and Learns (2016–2021) is Argentina’s education sector plan. It aims to guarantee rights to a good quality education and to a holistic development, encouraging young people to reach their full potential. The document makes no direct references to climate change but highlights environmental education:
Implementation of actions aimed at strengthening the learning of transversal themes that make the comprehensive development of students, including environmental education, comprehensive sexual education, the construction of citizenship, school coexistence, education and memory, and the prevention of addictions and drug abuse. (p. 13)
The National Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production highlights that Argentina Teaches and Learns (2016–2021; p. 89) considers compliance with the right to education as a main objective, in accordance with contemporary affairs. It boosts this objective through implementation of new information and communication technologies in teaching and learning processes. In addition, it mentions that environmental education is key to promote change in the ways that we relate to the environmental context. It considers the implementation of actions to incorporate environmental education at different levels of education.
Through the National Strategy for Environmental Education (2017), the National Strategic Plan for Environmental Education (2018–2022) was created jointly by national and provincial bodies. The Strategic Plan establishes important working dimensions to strengthen the focus of environmental education and aims for inclusion of climate change in curricular materials within formal education. The Strategic Plan aims to strengthen institutional capacity, enhance interdisciplinarity of environmental education within formal education, share learning for teachers, develop new thematic and methodological expressions, and develop materials for communication and information on environmental education. The National Strategic Plan of Environmental Education includes climate change education on a cognitive level through the distribution of knowledge. It also has a focus on the action-oriented learning dimension by promoting change of behavior and encouraging students to take action themselves. The National Strategy focuses on three transformational principles to be integrated into education in Argentina:
1. Structural causes that generate climate change and its consequences;
2. Mitigation measures at the individual and collective level;
3. Adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability to climate change. (p. 55)
Those three principles are taught through different practices, based on both the cognitive and action-oriented learning dimensions. The Strategy includes both formal education and the broader community.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Education work together to increase awareness about climate change matters. A 2017 campaign called The School Stands Up to Climate Change aimed to have students plant trees throughout Argentina, under the motto, “Having a healthy and balanced environment is everyone's right, but it is also a duty to preserve it for future generations.” (n.p.)
The National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change (2019) envisions creating a special climate change learning plan that enhances climate change communication and education as bases for proper mitigation and adaptation. The National Plan reinforces initiatives on training, workshops, and implementation of audio-visual material, with the help of government bodies such as the National Climate Change Directorate, and supports other entities with educational climate change initiatives. One of the National Plan’s goals is to create a climate change education strategy developed by the Ministry of Education. This new strategy was not available during the time of review.
According to the 3rd National Communication, education, dissemination, and training on climate change are key to engaging all stakeholders and social groups involved in climate change policymaking. The National Communication mentions the National Climate Change Directorate as a forerunner in climate change matters by providing educational programs on its website, such as waste management and a yearly Environmental Education Week.
By 2030, educational and cultural policies in their environmental dimension will be strengthened and enhanced, creating spaces for the exchange of intergenerational knowledge, promoting youth empowerment and gender equality in politics, and contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the national and international normative instruments related to the subject. (p. 24)
ii. Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources
The Government of Argentina has clear goals to develop highly skilled teachers. The education sector plan Argentina Teaches and Learns (2016–2021) mentions the importance of improving Argentina's teacher training and teaching and learning processes, although this is not specifically linked to climate change communication and education.
In Argentina, the National Institute for Teacher Training is responsible for planning, developing, and promoting teacher training policies. Climate change is an essential component of many Institute projects and initiatives. For example, Climate Change is not a Story is a pre-service workshop for student teachers to write climate change tales and acquire knowledge about climate change. It is an opportunity to create new curricular material for future teachers.
The National Institute of Technology Education focuses on vocational training to develop capacity in different areas. Working with the Ministry of Education, the Institute teaches sustainable development topics to teachers, including climate change topics such as renewable and efficient energy. The courses emphasize the importance of fighting climate change at all education levels. Other classes are available on topics related to sustainable development and include nationwide vocational fairs where the Ministries present new learning materials. The courses are available online, giving teachers across Argentina access to new knowledge.
Another National Institute of Technology Education program, In Continuous Training (ENFOCO), is a virtual in-service program for teachers from secondary technical institutions, higher technical institutes, and vocational training centers. The Institute offers courses on sustainable development and lessons on renewable energy.
The Ministry of Education manages the Educ.ar Portal, a website where teachers can acquire new knowledge. It includes topics related to climate change such as ‘Global Warming,’ ‘Glaciers and Global Warming,’ ‘Daily Life: Carbon Emission,’ and ‘Climate Change and Globalization.’ The site offers over 400 resources on climate change, such as interactive teaching modules, lesson plans, videos, and newspaper articles that teachers can use to enhance students’ understandings of climate change. These materials show the impact of climate change and its connection to other topics, such as dengue fever and globalization. The materials are available for different education levels, with most aimed at secondary school teachers.
Argentina’s national Priority Learning Cores do not include references to climate change, but strategies and plans such as the National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change (2018), aim to incorporate climate change topics in the future. According to the National Strategy for Sustainability in Argentinian Universities (2021), Argentinian universities aim to implement climate change as a general course in the curriculum of most disciplines, including teacher training.
The City of Buenos Aires has developed a guide and resources for schools (n.d.) that focuses on energy and climate change. The resources include downloadable documents that students can fill in and a personal carbon footprint calculator. The resources are part of the Green School Initiative, focusing on sustainability in schools.
According to Argentina’s 2nd Nationally Determined Contributions (2020), it is crucial to promote educational and cultural policies that cross-promote awareness of the environment and the climate, with teacher training an essential key and a beginning to achieve climate empowerment.
iii. Climate change in higher education
The Ministry of Education states on its websites that it enhances national policies for good quality of higher education to build human capital. The Ministry is in charge of accreditation and validation of university curricula. Alongside the Ministry of Education, the Council of Universities promotes development strategies for universities. It defines what subjects should be offered at public universities in Argentina to fulfill its higher education needs.
The National Commission for University Evaluation evaluates and coordinates the accreditation of university degrees. Some accredited disciplines and postgraduate degrees related to environmental management and engineering include climate change or environmental preservation subjects in their curricula. According to the National Strategy for Sustainability in Argentinian Universities (2021), the inclusion of climate change in higher education curricula will be expanded in the future.
The Higher Education Law (No. 24.521; 1995) aims to preserve national culture, prepare generations for the future, and consolidate respect for the environment. According to this Law, universities and institutions see teaching of “respect for the environment” as a key principle.
Higher Education aims to provide scientific, professional, humanistic, and technical training at the highest level, contribute to the preservation of national culture, promote the generation and development of knowledge in all its forms, and develop the attitudes and values that it requires. The training of responsible people, with ethical and supportive conscience, reflective, critical, capable of improving the quality of life, consolidating respect for the environment, the institutions of the Republic and the validity of the democratic order. (Article 3)
Under the Law for the Implementation of Comprehensive Environmental Education (No. 27.621; 2021), the Ministry of Education and the Secretariat of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Innovation established the National Strategy for Sustainability in Argentinian Universities. Although climate change is not specifically part of the Strategy, it aims to incorporate environmental education in higher education in all areas and build university cultures where knowledge, good attitudes, and values create responsible people with an ethical and supportive awareness about environmental issues. This is done through creation of national and international university networks, such as the Network of Argentinian Universities for Environmental Management and Social Inclusion. An exchange system of workshops, conferences and joint degrees has been established.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development also collaborates in the inclusion of climate change in higher education. For instance, the Ministry worked together with the National University of Quilmes and the National University of Jujuy to promote the postgraduate program in Bases and Tools for the Comprehensive Management of Climate Change. The program includes learning approaches on environmental and climate change, linking the topics with health, climate communication, legal-political perspectives, action plans, and social aspects such as migrations and environmental refugees.
Among the programs that the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Argentina offers is the Master’s in Law and Economics of Climate Change. The program aims at empowering students with critical thinking and interdisciplinary knowledge for decision making in future climate scenarios. The two main challenges focus on climate mitigation and adaptation in Latin America, considering regulation of economic activities for success environmental approaches.
The National University of Rosario, which implements climate change initiatives on its campus, recently hosted a seminar together with the United Nations Academic Impact organization to discuss the role of academia in the search for solutions to climate change. Other universities and research institutes, such as the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLASCO), offer classes specifically on climate change communication and education. One example is a public seminar, How does citizen participation contribute to governments' climate agendas? The seminar shows the potential of public participation for climate change, by linking different actors and including topics such as accessibility, sustainability, relevance, gender equality, and social equity.
Other universities with climate change education initiatives include the National Defence University and the Metropolitan University for Education and Work, which offer diplomas and postgraduate degrees on environmental management and sustainable development. They teach their students about climate change laws and regulations and about global warming and how it affects the environment.
The Agricultural Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires offers seminars and study-work groups about climate change. The goal is to assess agricultural impacts on the environment and encourage implementation of new systems that consider new climate conditions and have the least possible impact on the environment.
The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, together with the Ministry of Education, offers scholarships to study “the environment, climate change, and the good life” in Latin America and the Caribbean. Researchers can apply to study in another Latin American country to foster south-south partnerships.
iv. Climate change in training and adult learning
The National Strategy for Environmental Education (2017) identifies training and adult learning as key to bringing the urgency of climate change closer to citizens. The National Strategy proposes to establish specialized workshops and courses for Argentine citizens on themes such as energy use, renewable energy, and general climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
Attached to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the National Climate Change Directorate develops climate change training for provincial and municipal employees. Trainings are based on the Law Yolanda, which aims to build capacity for environmental topics among all public servants. For example, a series of workshops called Strengthening Capacities to Develop Environmental Policies on Climate Change for the municipality of San Juan trains public servants who work closely with citizens and strengthens their technical capacities to prepare and manage climate change response plans.
The Educ.ar Portal offers climate change training for the general public and businesses to build capacities on climate change. The portal is self-directed, making it easy for interested people and businesses to access information and training materials. The portal includes both complete courses and information on single topics, such as ‘Recommendations for Climate Change,’ ‘Environmental Problems and Interdependent Relationships,’ ‘Sustainable Alimentation,’ and ‘Sustainable Buildings.’ The programs aim to give information to participants so they can be more environmentally responsible. The programs also teach participants about the importance of sustainability, thinking about the present while providing perspectives on the future.
i. Climate change and public awareness
Under decree No. 295/03, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development aims to promote public awareness and disseminate information on Argentina's environmental problems, including those related to global climate change and its impacts.
Public awareness is a key principle in the Climate Change Law No. 27.520, which encourages all Argentinian provinces to develop public awareness campaigns.
Datos.gob.ar, a government-run data portal, collects data on a large variety of topics from all over Argentina. The data on the portal are open to the public and open access by law. Data are collected by the national government and the provinces, and are validated and intended to be of value to the public. The system is based on the Regional Metadata Profile. Climate change awareness raising activities available on the portal include campaigns, festivals, and workshops, with topics such as ‘Good Environmental Habits,’ ‘Environmental Education and Sustainable Entrepreneurship,’ ‘Awareness on Urban Solid Waste.’ From 150 to 150,000 participants attend. Other data specific to climate change include information on greenhouse gasses and climate change laws and regulations.
The website of the Climate Change Directorate has education and dissemination tools aimed at different levels of formal and non-formal education. In addition, discussions on climate change occur in elementary schools, middle schools, and universities. Non-formal training is carried out with the participation of civil defense, the fire department, and municipal and provincial personnel.
The National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change (2019) aims to create public awareness campaigns to increase climate action in target audiences such as government agencies, civil society organizations, communities, the education system, and professionals. One example is training for and with the Indigenous population to increase awareness about climate change and strengthen adaptation capacities. The National Plan states that Indigenous knowledge was also used in the Plan’s creation.
The Strategy is based and guided by the best available science and by traditional and Indigenous knowledge where appropriate, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions, as appropriate. (p. 43)
The National Plan calls for strengthening of existing initiatives by Indigenous communities for climate change adaptation and aims to strengthen Indigenous participation in international and national networks for climate change.
According to the 3rd Biennial Update Report (2019), the necessity of improving climate change awareness in Argentina through education and communication is a priority. The Report aims to “Raise awareness among citizens and implement a strategy of communication (channels of dissemination, quality of messages, adaptation to new technologies).” (p. 251). Further, the Report mentions the necessity of implementing less technical climate change language, to make communication easier and reach more people.
The inclusion of all social sectors on climate change matters is crucial for the Government of Argentina. The 3rd National Communication (2015) indicates that the Government of Argentina encourages different stakeholders to increase plans and strategies to spread information on climate change beyond formal schooling. The 3rd National Communication also notes numerous initiatives implemented to foster communication and awareness about climate change, such as the Manual on Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change for Local Management and Planning. This manual was prepared collaboratively by the Undersecretary for Territorial Planning of Public Investment, the Undersecretary for Provincial Development and Promotion, and the Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development. The manual proposes a participatory methodology in which public administration officials and technicians are able to interact with local representatives—civil society, research centers, universities, workers' organizations, private companies—to achieve the best possible assessment of the current and projected situation and the possible measures to be adopted.
ii. Climate change and public access to information
In Argentina, Law No. 27.275 guarantees access to free information, promoting citizen participation and the transparency of public management and requiring public entities to give information to citizens. In 2020 the government also approved, through Law No. 27.566, the Escazú Agreement (2018) that guarantees the right of access to environmental information in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Argentina.gob.ar website is where most climate change data are collected and provided publicly. The website hosts over 400 entries on climate change information, including information on what is climate change, different climate change models, and information for the yearly Action for Climate Empowerment Week. This week is a mix out of workshops, training programs, and dialogues about climate change.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development‘s website includes information on Argentina’s environmental education, environmental actions, preservation, and climate change policies. The website also includes virtual talks, workshops, and screenings, where the general public can learn about climate change, biodiversity, composting, fire management, and the importance of national parks.
Most ministries in Argentina use social media to enhance public access to information, so people can easily obtain recent data. The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development has Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, where it posts national and international updates on climate change, awareness campaigns, educational initiatives, regulations, environmental activities, and government environmental performance.
The Ministry of Education‘s Educ.ar Portal allows Argentinian citizens to access climate change and environmental information, including essential data about global warming, water and air pollution, and guidelines on how to adapt to climate change. The portal hosts high-quality content (ebooks, videos, interactive material) that improves the distribution of knowledge and information.
The National Meteorological System of Argentina website offers multiple kinds of climate change information, free of charge. In addition to forecasts and the latest scientific news about climate and the weather, the website had a specific page for climate change topics such as water and air contamination, preservation of the ozone layer, and temperature rise. The website communicates directly about the consequences of climate change in Argentina and what the population can expect in the future.
As a novel communication method, the Climate Change Risk Mapping System (SIMARCC) is a preventive tool that the government of Argentina uses to develop projections of climate events, create new prevention programs, and support nationwide planning policies.
Argentina has also implemented a public government database called datos.gob.ar, where all the data published by national and provincial government agencies are collected and offered to citizens. It includes lists of past climate change initiatives, policies and plans.
The majority of provinces in Argentina offer public information to citizens. For example, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires features general information for the city's wellbeing, including climate change information and initiatives. The city has developed the Green Agenda, which arranges sustainable training and workshops and lists all upcoming city activities related to protection of the environment.
The 3rd National Communication also mentions non-formal education initiatives such as audio-visual climate change content hosted on the Argentine Federation of Workers of Rental and Vertical Buildings virtual platform, which aims to teach about climate change concerns for the construction industry.
iii. Climate change and public participation
Multiple policy documents of the Government of Argentina, such as the National Strategy for Environmental Education (2017) and the Law of Minimum Budgets for Adaptation and Mitigation to Global Climate Change (2019), include public participation as a key priority.
In Argentina, youth organize and participate in climate change parades during the annual Action for Climate Empowerment Week and bring initiatives to the government. For example, the Hackathon of Youth for the Environment (2021) was chaired by 200 high school students who proposed solutions for environmental problems to higher government hierarchies. In 2015, youth participants to the annual meeting with the Ministry of Education adopted the National Document of Young Environmental Promoters. In activities to prepare the 3rd National Communication, the government held dissemination workshops with presentations of preliminary results from adaptation and mitigation studies. Workshops took place in the provinces of Salta, Misiones, Tierra del Fuego, Mendoza, La Rioja, Tucumán, and the City of Buenos Aires. Sites were selected to reach the regions in which the Federal Environmental Council is present. Representatives from public bodies, the academic sector, civil society organizations, the agriculture sector, and the media participated in these meetings.
Under the National Cabinet of Climate Change initiative, citizens can discuss and contribute to climate change through Climate Dialogues. The dialogues aim to promote consensus strategies for climate action in Argentina and are part of the principle of inclusive citizen participation.
A Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development initiative aims to engage different stakeholders through a project called Extended Table. It offers meeting and training spaces to strengthen capabilities and develop a better process for adaptation and mitigation in relation to the needs and priorities of different citizens.
The 3rd National Communication mentions active community participation in projects taking place in different parts of Argentina. For example, in the Cordillerana region, citizens implement knowledge to raise water levels and avoid runoff and erosion to reactive natural lagoons.
Argentina’s 2nd Nationally Determined Contributions (2020) highlight the need to develop more public awareness campaigns and focus on the inclusion of gender in climate change campaigns. The Government of Argentina aims to develop climate change policies with special attention to women and people identifying as LGTBQ+ by 2030, with their active participation in climate change debates to ensure their needs are met.
i. Country monitoring
Argentina’s National Inventory of Greenhouse Gasses and Monitoring of Mitigation Measures system oversees the country's emissions and monitors sectoral plan progress indicators. Education and communication are currently not included in this monitoring system, although multiple plans and policies, such as the National Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education (2021) and the National Strategy for Sustainability in Argentinian Universities (2021) aim to establish monitoring.
Among the initiatives of the National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change (2019) is a medium-term proposal for a National Information System on Vulnerability, Impacts, and Adaptation to Climate Change. The primary objective is to have appropriate data for developing indicators that inform monitoring and evaluation of the adaptation process and measures carried out.
According to the National Strategy for Environmental Education (2017), progress on Argentina’s educational strategy is overseen by provincial level monitoring every two years. The Strategy aims to strengthen institutional capacity, enhance the environmental dimension in formal education, share learning, increase new thematic and methodological expressions, and expand environmental education information and communication.
Argentina participated in the 2018 PISA Competence Study. The study indicated negative results for Argentinian students' knowledge on global issues, with Argentina ranking among countries with the lowest awareness of global problems (including climate change and global warming).
Parallel to the Ministry of Education, the National Council for the Quality of Education oversees the school process and issues technical opinions. It also monitors environmental education, seeking high standards in the educational system. No further information was found by this review.
The National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies monitors international goals and supports and collaborates on government policies, oversees and elaborates prioritized goals, and monitors indicators for Argentina's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the most recent SDG reporting from June 2021 included no data or SDG 4.7 and SDG 13.3.
The National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina publishes yearly reports on statistics and indicators relevant for Argentina. The 2019 Annual Report published statistics on Argentina’s emissions and other factors relevant for climate change, but climate change communication and education indicators were not included.
On the datos.gob.ar website, the government and stakeholders can track relevant information from Argentinian government agencies such as plans, strategies, statistics, activities, and initiatives. Themes include information related to science collaborations, technology, agriculture, afforestation, culture, environmental communication, and education, which can be integrated for effective monitoring and evaluations.
ii. MECCE Project Monitoring
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project examined Argentina’s Priority Learning Cores (national curriculum framework) and Argentina Teaches and Learns (education sector plan; 2016–2021) for references to ‘climate change,’ ‘environment,’ ‘sustainability,’ and ‘biodiversity.’
No ‘climate change’ terminology is mentioned in the Priority Learning Cores or Argentina Teaches and Learns, although most learning objectives involve environmental awareness approaches, aiming to reach sustainable development.
Environmental education remains the main topic within the educational system. ‘Environment’ is referenced once in Argentina Teaches and Learns. The Priority Learning Cores (I, II Cycle of Primary School and I, II Cycles of Secondary School) mention ‘environment’ 50 times in total among all documents.
‘Sustainability’ is not mentioned in any of the educational documents. ‘Biodiversity’ appears only in the last year of secondary school curriculum.
This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.
This profile was reviewed by Fernando Antonio Ignacio González, Doctoral Fellow, Institute of Economic and Social Research of the South, National University of the South (UNS)-National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Argentina