EAEA annual theme 2023: adult learning and the green transition

Adult learning and education (ALE) has a significant role to play in the green transition process. In 2023, EAEA will look at how learners, educators and organisations can contribute to a just green transition, and the policy environment that can make their involvement possible.

Sustainability has risen from a marginal topic to a central issue for Europe and other regions of the world: the current European Commission has launched the ‘European Green Deal’, driving Europe’s green transition, and aiming to strongly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decouple economic growth from resource use, and include everyone and every place in this development. 

Increasingly, actions on the green transition and sustainability are also included in the European Union’s education programmes and funding instruments, especially Erasmus+. 

2022 saw the adoption of the European Union’s Council Recommendation on learning for the green transition and sustainable development, as well as the launch of the Green Competences framework. The EU’s efforts on promoting the green transition have also been reflected in the European Semester Process and the Recovery and Resilience Fund. 

At the international level, sustainability and the green transition played a major role in UNESCO’s Transforming Education process and the Greening Education Partnership, which was launched as a result of it. The UNESCO’s Marrakech Framework for Action, adopted during CONFINTEA VII in Morocco, was a key cornerstone of international approaches to adult learning and education (ALE) and the green transition. The latter was also reinforced in the Declaration on Global Education to 2050, which, in return,  was adopted by the Council of Europe. The Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations remain the overarching framework for actions and strategies aiming to promote sustainability in all its dimensions, including environmental.

Numerous studies and calculations, including those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), draw dramatic scenarios for the development of the climate, biodiversity, forests, etc. This is beginning to have an impact on economic and social life, making the urgency of the issue clearer. 

Adult learning and education (ALE) is a fertile ground, not only for the provision of skills, knowledge and competencies for sustainable development but also to empower social transformation as a whole. Sustainability has long been a central theme for EAEA, and now is the time to give it the stage it deserves. 

EAEA’s activities in 2023 will focus on these objectives: 

  • Inclusion of the European ALE community in activities and discussions on the green transition 
  • Building capacity for greening ALE and contributing to the EU objectives on the green transition 
  • Collecting good practices on ALE and green transition in the Grundtvig Award call 
  • Building and strengthening our networks in ALE and the green transition
  • Raising awareness about the role of ALE in the green transition at the EU, national and regional levels 

Get involved:

Background information:

EAEA’s concept paper on Adult Learning and the Green Transition, published in December 2022