Email sign-up

Hot Topics Calendar

Exploring current issues in the classroom

This feature was developed by Resources for Rethinking to connect students to some of the efforts being made to solve important problems that are affecting our planet. Hot Topics are published during the school year to coincide with the timing of national and international campaigns taking place to raise awareness of these key issues.

Each Hot Topic edition includes links to classroom materials from theResources for Rethinking database that will encourage students and teachers to explore the environmental, economic and social dimensions of these issues and to take action in support of the larger campaign.

Hot Topics Calendar

UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

September 16

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

September 20-28, 2014

World Food Day

October 16


Waste Reduction Week

October 20-26, 2014


World Fisheries Day

November 21


Buy Nothing Day

November 28, 2014


COP 20: UN Climate Change Conference

December 1-12, 2014

World Wetlands Day

February 2


World Day of Social Justice

February 20


World Water Day

March 22


Earth Hour

March 28, 2015

Earth Day

April 22


International Day for Biological Diversity

May 22

Canadian Enviroment Week

June 1-7, 2014

National Aboriginal Day

June 21

Canada Day

July 1

 

COP 20:
December 1-12, 2014

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was drafted in 1992 in an effort to combat global warming.  Since 1995 representatives of the world’s governments, international organizations and other interested groups have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with the climate change.   This group, known as the Conference of Parties is responsible for adopting resolutions that establish the international rules needed to meet the challenges posed by our changing climate. 

In 2014, the 20th Conference of the Parties will meet in Lima, Peru from the 1st to the 12th of December. Delegates from member countries including Canada will seek to advance the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in an effort to achieve the goals of the UN Convention. The conference will also provide an opportunity to consolidate responses to climate change and to showcase the many ambitious adaptation and mitigation initiatives being implemented around the world. 

COP 20 will capture world-wide media attention and in doing so provide teachers with an excellent context and timeframe for exploring climate change in the classroom. 

Why Care About International Cooperation on Climate Change?

Climate change is altering our planet.  Significant environmental, economic and social consequences are becoming more and more evident as global temperatures increase. 

  • Rising temperatures due to global warming threaten to increase flooding and droughts, putting millions of homes at risk and endangering as many as 30 percent of animal species, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Two-thirds of the world's polar bears could be lost within 50 years as a result of retreating sea ice, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • The IPCC estimates 3 billion or more people will be at risk of water shortage due to climate change in the decades ahead.
  • Research conducted by the NRDC shows that if present trends continue, the total cost of global warming over the next century will be measured in the trillions of dollars.
  • Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity cause air pollution and are a key contributing factor to thousands of hospital stays and premature deaths in Canada each year.

Climate change will increasingly affect human health, species distribution and the ability of the earth's ecosystems to sustain our economic, social, and environmental needs. How we deal with climate change is a crucial discussion that teachers and students should be actively engaged in.

Resources for Rethinking encourages students and teachers to explore climate change issues.  Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.

For More Information on COP 20 visit the Conference site.