Education for greener future – the role of school in sparking climate awareness and enthusiasm
Schools play a key role in raising awareness about climate change and climate responsibility. Education can contribute to building a sustainable future and prepare learners to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Everyone should acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be able to actively protect our planet’s future. This seminar will highlight the role of schools in increasing climate enthusiasm and climate responsibility.
The seminar is arranged by the Finnish Erasmus+ National Agency and the European Green Capital of 2021, Lahti. The European Green Capital Award (EGCA) is a competition for cities, organised by the European Commission. The title is given to one city at a time for one year for merits in pioneering environmental actions, setting an example for other cities and developing innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Read more: https://greenlahti.fi/en.
- learn about the role of school in raising awareness about climate responsibility and climate enthusiasm
- learn different approaches on how to incorporate sustainable development into the everyday schoolwork
- build networks together with European colleagues
Partners and participants
makers at school education sector (principals, directors, heads of
kindergartens/ECEC, municipalities, ministries)
- teachers in early childhood education, primary schools and secondary schools
- teacher trainers
60 participants in total, 20 from Finland and 40 from all over the Europe.
Pending booked places
Long-term Activity Info
The new programme generation Erasmus+ starts off in a challenging time. Covid-19 is still dominating discussions on education, mobility and European cooperation as well as accelerating the demand for smart digital solutions throughout the European Union and its programmes.
Even though these issues still capture the attention (and time) of most NAs, we are all finding our paths towards the so-called “new normal”. Part of this new normality is to recollect and revive long-term goals as well as introduce new ways to thrive in the upcoming future.
The important discussion on sustainability and greening Erasmus+ is one that survived Covid-19 and even gained in relevance. Already before Covid-19, it was announced that Erasmus+ will entail a new priority on sustainability. Therefore, we as NAs are at the core when it comes to make sustainability a priority within our organisations and to enable beneficiaries to engage into transnational cooperation among each other to improve qualitative implementation of the programme even further.
Nevertheless, the formal tie of sustainability and greening as a priority in the Erasmus+ program is relatively new. In 2020 the horizontal priority “environmental and climate goals” was introduced. However, other already existing frameworks show that we can tackle the climate topic in a holistic approach, namely sustainability.
The European Commission hopes to link the two topics – coronavirus and the climate. It is proposing a €750 billion recovery package entitled “Next Generation EU”, with funds going towards the ecological transformation of the economy – charging points, the renovation of buildings and the hydrogen economy.
The European Commission also presented its industrial strategy in connection with the Green Deal in March 2020. One of its focal areas is decarbonising energy-intensive industry and establishing a hydrogen economy. The aim is to produce the gas with the aid of renewable energy and use it to make sectors such as steel production or heavy vehicle traffic more climate-friendly. It also comprises a right to repairs, the recycling of batteries, replacing disposable packaging with reusable alternatives, and collecting and recycling more textiles and electrical appliances, or ensuring that they last longer.
In March 2020, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new climate regulation as a central element of its Green Deal. This entails the EU achieving net climate neutrality by 2050, meaning that climate gases may still be emitted, but they must be offset elsewhere.
In April 2021, a deal on the European Climate Law has been reached, making legal obligations of the goals stipulated by the European Green Deal to create a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
During its Presidency of the Council, Germany has taken up the discussion on sustainability in education and research. The German federal government’s website provides details of its work. One of the main developments of Germany’s council presidency is the Osnabrück Declaration, which defines vocational education and training as an enabler of recovery and just transitions to digital and green economies.
Sustainability should be a guiding principle for all Erasmus+ projects
Future projects should be designed in an eco-friendly way and should incorporate green practices in all its facets.
Organisations and participants should have an environmental-friendly approach when designing the project, which will encourage everyone involved in the project to discuss and learn about environmental issues, reflecting about what can be done at different levels and help organisations and participants to come up with alternative, greener ways to implement project activities.
The new programme aims to support, across all sectors, awareness-raising about environmental and climate change challenges. Priority will be given to projects aimed at developing competences in various sustainability-relevant fields, developing green sectorial skills strategies and methodologies, as well as future-oriented curricula that better meet the needs of individuals. The programme supports the use of innovative practices to make learners, staff and youth workers true factors of change (e.g. save resources, reduce energy use and waste, compensate carbon footprint emissions, opt for sustainable food and mobility choices, etc.).
- Increase of the (potential) impact of Erasmus projects regarding sustainability practices
- Development of a strategy to reach beneficiaries and encourage them to engage with sustainability
- Facilitation of exchange and discussion between beneficiaries to help them develop their own approach to green initiatives
- Communication of the benefits of working on sustainability at both the European and national levels to the Erasmus community
- Communication of the significance and urgency to act on climate change in all parts of society
- Creation of a common understanding of guiding principles in sustainability. (emissions, food produce, less resource use, less waste, more local produce, reproducing crops, less plastic, less use of pesticides..)
- See connected activities
The LTA sustainability aims at encouraging more potential programme participants to engage in mobility or projects to increase their knowledge on principles and models of sustainability, and to facilitate more national engagement in the long-term perspective. The LTA should create a space for shared insights and experience sharing on green initiatives. The participants of the activities in the framework of the LTA sustainability should also include experienced beneficiaries to share approaches and talk about their motivation to work on green initiatives. The LTA will focus on capacity building and green initiatives, especially in Education for Sustainable Development.