Education for sustainable development must be taught in every national curriculum subject and not be an "afterthought" to the proposals, argues the World Wide Fund for Nature.
The charity says the issues of climate change, ozone depletion and genetically-modified foods should be used to teach children about the environment.
Peter Martin, WWF head of education, said: "Education for sustainable development is a fundamental part of the big picture. Unless young people understand what it means and how to achieve it, then we will miss a major opportunity for sustainability in the next millennium."
The Government's curriculum quango, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, is consulting on the proposals until July 23.