The Green Deal and its role in GreenVET

One of the main and first goals of our GreenVET project is to familiarize Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools with the policies that the European Green Deal demands to be followed. The forthcoming Framework, which is in the works, will supply VET teachers and VET administrators with an entry point to the new regulations EU countries ought to follow. But what is the Green Deal and how did it come about?

The European Green Deal was first introduced in December 2019 by European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and on 15 January 2020, the European Parliament voted in support of the deal. Its overarching goal is to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050, meaning that Europe aspires to become a net-zero emitter of greenhouse gases and for its economies to develop without increasing resource usage.

The implemented policies cover a wide range of sectors from building and renovation to clean energy and sustainable industry. The goals of the Green Deal vary depending on the area of focus. A few worth mentioning are the following:

  • To eliminate food loss and waste, while producing and consuming food in more sustainable ways.
  • To make our society more resilient to threats such as climate change, forest fires and disease outbreaks.
  • To reduce transport emissions by 90% by the year 2050.
  • To reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and develop more renewable energy sources.

It is not hard to deduce why such a plan came into existence since we have all been on the receiving end of climate change news for years on end. Some of the more specific motivating factors that led to the inception of the Green Deal were:

  • Carbon dioxide levels are predicted to double by 2030 resulting in a 2-3 Celsius degree rise in summer months.
  • More than 75% of greenhouse gas emissions are related to the use of energy in Europe.
  • The population of wild species has declined by over 50% in the last two generations.
  • 20% of food production is wasted within the European Union while millions struggle to secure quality meals.

GreenVET aims to incorporate Green Deal policies into our Framework so that VET teachers and VET administrators can shift their operations towards sustainability. In doing so, not only will the VET schools become more sustainable, but also through imparting the policies to VET students, they will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge and spread awareness to their future jobs, and therefore, significantly contribute to the ultimate goals of the European Green Deal.

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