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Environmental Sustainability to be at the Core of EU Education

The EU Commission recently (14January 2021) published a proposal for a Council Recommendation on learning for environmental sustainability. The aim of the proposal is to support Member States, schools, higher education institutions, non-governmental organisations and all education providers in equipping learners with understanding and skills on sustainability, climate change and the environment. A new European competence framework on sustainability published by the Joint Research Centre, also available today, maps out the competences needed for the green transition, including critical thinking, initiative-taking, respecting nature and understanding the impact everyday actions and decisions have on the environment and the global climate.

When asked in a Eurobarometer survey, what should be the top priorities for the EU in the years to come young people's first reply was the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change (67%) followed by the improvement of education and training (56%).This shows how important it is to act.

The 2021-2027 Erasmus+ programme also places a strong focus on the green transition in education and training. For the 2022 annual work programme, priority will be given to projects developing green competences and skills, future-oriented curricula and planned approaches to sustainability by education providers. A specific call for large-scale projects will provide funding to identify, develop and test innovative approaches to education for environmental sustainability. The Commission will also provide training opportunities and communities of practice for educators through School Education Gateway and eTwinning. The new European Education Area Portal of the Commission allows for easy access to information on education and training in the EU, including specific information on green education.

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