Education and the European Green Deal: Strengthening Sustainability Education in the EU

Stefan Zotti


Education plays a key role in the global political attempts to promote sustainability and to tackle climate change. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 ‘Education for sustainable development and global citizenship’ calls on the states to ensure that learners acquire the knowledge and the necessary skills to promote sustainable development. The European Union, under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, through its Green Deal puts forward the ambitious goal to make Europe, by 2035, the first climate neutral continent in the world – an ambition which remains at the core of its political agenda. How can education contribute to this goal, what initiatives are taken at EU level to support sustainable development and how do the SDGs shape education policy itself? This article discusses the EU’s approach on environmental sustainability education and presents the most important policy initiatives aiming at supporting Member States’ education systems in addressing climate change and sustainability. It will be clear that the strategic aim goes far beyond slight adaptions of existing curricula - it puts sustainability at the heart of the European education policy reform agenda.

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International Journal of Contemporary Education

ISSN 2575-3177 (Print)   ISSN 2575-3185 (Online)

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