This Journal of Emergent Science is a special issue on the theme of sustainability. The climate emergency is a complex and ‘wicked’ problem, something that cannot be solved with a narrow view of causes and solutions. Sustainable development is often represented with three dimensions, or pillars, to reflect the reciprocal nature and influence of the environment, social cultural co‐operation, and economy. Such a model emphasises the interconnectedness of the ‘system’, which requires ‘systems thinking’, to consider the issues and solutions as a whole. In education, this requires us to look at sustainable development in a cross‐curricular or transdisciplinary way, rather than in subject silos. This resonates with early childhood education pedagogy, which is concerned with development of the whole child.