Climate change is one of the most significant socio-scientific challenges of this century. To address this challenge, people need to be empowered to assess information about climate change and make informed decisions. Both aspects are covered by the concept of climate literacy. Many phenomena in the context of climate change, such as the greenhouse effect, are based on energy related processes. Thus, we assume that for dealing with climate change in education the understanding of the energy concept is essential. Although curricula across the globe have strengthened efforts to support teaching the energy concept, most learners struggle to develop a deep understanding of energy. To examine the current state of research in science education concerning the relationship between the understanding of climate change and the energy concept, we conducted a systematic literature review. This research summarizes and discusses previous findings regarding the extent to which learners use the energy concept to explain the causes and consequences of climate change, whether energy knowledge is a prerequisite for understanding climate change and to what extent knowledge of energy influences the intention to engage in activities to reduce climate change and its impacts.
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