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Green education initiatives

The European Union is encouraging the education and training sector to take action to contribute to the green transition and to strengthen the sustainability competences of all learners.

Why is green education important?

Learners of all ages need to be able to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live more sustainably, change patterns of consumption and to contribute to a greener future. Education and training have a key role to play in supporting people to move from awareness about the environment to individual and collective action.

A growing number of initiatives and actions on climate change, biodiversity and sustainability are taking place across Europe in education and training. However, despite progress and growing public interest, learning for environmental sustainability is not yet a systemic feature of education policy and practice in the EU. 

What is the EU doing?

The European Commission is tackling these issues through a range of initiatives:

  • the Education for Climate Coalition is a growing community of learners and teachers active on climate change and sustainability issues  
  • a proposal for a Council Recommendation on learning for environmental sustainability aims to support Member States in their efforts and to encourage more cooperation at the EU level in this field 
  • the new European sustainability competence framework sets out knowledge, skills and attitudes learners of all ages will need for the green transition 
  • the researchers at Schools initiative allows young researchers to engage with teachers and pupils on climate change and sustainable development
  • collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), for example through the InvestEU programme, to enable Member States access to funding for sustainable education infrastructure and the development of skills and pedagogies
  • the 2021-2027 Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes have been made more green and digital

EEA strategic framework

As part of the European Education Area strategic framework (2021-2030), working groups have been established in the vocational education and training, higher education and schools sectors to work on green education. The groups will allow for mutual learning and the exchange of best practices between Member States and stakeholder organisations.  


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