Pupils’ Conference Elefsina
Unite students from both the European Union and accession countries with the purpose of creating a joint perspective on achieving climate neutrality.
Europe, Germany, Greece
The climate crisis poses a significant danger to our planet and its inhabitants, especially the younger generation. The European Union’s (EU) Fit for 55 package emphasizes the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve this goal, it is essential to involve citizens and encourage changes in their daily habits to decrease energy consumption and increase the use of renewable energy systems (RES) both now and in the future. Students involved in climate neutrality can contribute to shaping and starting their own future today.
The project brings together over 300 pupils aged 10 to 15 years along with their teachers from Germany, Greece, and the Western Balkans within the Pupils’ Conference on “Transition to a climate-neutral future“. The event is held under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and takes place in the 2023 European Capital of Culture Elefsina in May. During this event, the students collaborate to generate ideas for achieving a climate-neutral future at the local level, using Elefsina as a living example. To achieve this goal, all participants bring along their own school’s roadmap for climate neutrality that has been conducted in advance. Based on thematic interactive walks through Elefsina, the students devise a common vision of how to achieve climate neutrality through active participatory group exercises. Based on the idea of the Greek environmental education coordinators – namely the Primary Education Directorate of West Attica, 1st Primary Education Directorate of Athens, 3rd Primary Education Directorate of Athens, and Secondary Education Directorate of East Thessaloniki – the project’s outcomes and participatory methodology align with the EU’s target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and will be incorporated into a broader cultural, environmental, and educational context at the local, national, and European levels. The project provides its findings as a legacy to local communities, educational institutions, and future Capitals of Culture to work with. In addition, the project disseminates inspirational material acquired from the conference throughout 2023, spreading the ideas and vision for a climate-neutral future Capital of Culture to existing and new schools, cities, and cultural networks across Europe.