Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission called for extending the green push to schools, institutes of higher education, NGOs and to other education providers.
It stressed the importance of teaching student learners about issues related to sustainability, the environment and climate change, a press release said.
On Friday, the EC’s Joint Research Centre published a new competence framework on sustainability that spells out requirements for the planned transition, including initiative-taking and understanding of the impact that decisions have on the global climate.
Margaritis Schinas, European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life, noted that since “youth participation has been revolutionising the way we look at climate and the environment”, the EC is promoting “the sustainability drive involving our youth.”
The Commission wants to continue its “work towards a better integration of sustainability in education”, he said.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, observed that “there is tremendous work being done right across Europe to help children, young people and adults learn about and engage with climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainability.”
Learners need opportunities
“All learners, from an early age need opportunities to understand and take action for environmental sustainability, to protect our planet and our future”, she stressed.
The Commission proposes that every EU member state should provide learners of all ages with inclusive education on sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, while making sustainability training a priority in education and training, promoting active involvement of students and staff in sustainability projects and mobilising funds to further the green transition.
The Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme for education, training, youth and sports for the period 2021-2027 focuses on the green transition in training and education, and prioritises green projects.
The EC’s proposal awaits discussion by EU member states before being adopted by education ministers.
The Commission stressed that it consulted widely to prepare the proposal, noting that its public survey received more than 1,300 responses from June to September last year.
The EC consulted online with interested parties, including social partners, youth organisations, teachers and others. Its conclusion was that education and training to take action on environmental issues is of crucial importance.