Union of Education Norway – climate change and sustainable development action plan 2021–2023

Union of Education Norway aims to be a force for promoting education for sustainable development.

Download Union of Education Norway – climate change and sustainable development action plan 2021–2023

Read the norwegian version Handlingsplan for Utdanningsforbundets arbeid med klima og bærekraft 2021-2023

Union of Education Norway aims to be a force for promoting education for sustainable development. The teaching profession plays a key role in the transition to a sustainable society, and one part of our civic mandate is to give children and young people the skills they need to be able to live in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. We need to take our share of the responsibility for the transition. Leading up to the next national congress, our key focus areas will be to raise awareness and build knowledge of how we as a union and profession can contribute to reduce the environmental footprint of our own organisation.

Our climate and sustainability initiatives are part of the organisation’s efforts to safeguard its members’ interests when it comes to pay and working conditions, professional matters and education policy. Sustainable development must always be one of the perspectives in every issue addressed by Union of Education Norway.

Within our own organisation (Union of Education Norway)

In the current period Union of Education Norway will:

  • Based on Union of Education Norway’s overarching action plan, the regional branches will draw up their own action plans for climate change and sustainable development: These should include steps to reduce the climate and environmental footprint of the organisation along with measures linked to education and dialogue with local branches, union representatives and members on climate and sustainable development.
  • Prepare annual climate accounts to inform decision-making on action plans at the various levels of the organisation.
  • Revise travel policy. Reiterate that the necessity of each journey must be considered, and that climate and environmentally friendly modes of transport should be used where possible. Higher travel and accommodation costs should be accepted where necessary if it reduces the number of flights. The travel policy must also take into account geographical differences. The travel policy should be made more widely known across the organisation.
  • Develop a seminar and course portfolio with a reduced climate and environmental footprint.
  • Review basic training with a view to integrating climate change and sustainable development and further develop training programmes and support materials.
  • Continue to actively lobby fund managers so that Union of Education Norway’s funds uphold climate, environmental, social and ethical business principles.
  • Continue to make purchase and procurement procedures more sustainable and better known across the organisation.
  • Organise courses on climate change and sustainable development for members and union representative at various levels.
  • Maintain the established network of regional climate change contacts through regular digital conferences.
  • Enable all regional branches to obtain Eco-Lighthouse certification by 2023.

Education for sustainable development

In the current period Union of Education Norway will:

  • Work to ensure that the initial teacher training programmes qualify the candidates to teach sustainable development and initiate co-operation with Pedagogstudentene, the association for student teachers.
  • Work to ensure that teachers and leaders are given the necessary in-service training and continuing education to enable them to promote sustainable development as an interdisciplinary topic and that the teacher training programmes are able to provide such in-service training and continuing education.
  • Disseminate knowledge about and generate enthusiasm around education for sustainable development by awarding the Union of Education Norway climate change prize and bringing the winners to public notice.
  • Work to give children, pupils and students more hands-on experience of sustainable practices in kindergartens/schools and in the local community and influence relevant authorities to allocate resources to that end.
  • Advocate to give teachers sufficient autonomy and frameworks for co-operating on interdisciplinary issues.
  • Encourage more knowledge-sharing around education for sustainable development.
  • Promote education for sustainable development as a priority area in the international trade union movement through our memberships of Education International and the Nordic Teachers’ Council (NLS).
  • Work with our confederation Unio to highlight, develop and strengthen the role of the professions in safeguarding quality in public services, thus helping to reach the sustainable development goals.

Negotiations and social dialogue

In the current period Union of Education will:

  • Seek to include our union representatives in the effort to achieve the sustainable development goals both at national and local level.
  • Invite the social partners to collaborate in the areas of climate change, environment and sustainable development.
  • Work to make the basic agreement provisions on climate change and environmental initiatives the topic of joint training with employers.
  • Update and further develop support materials and resources on negotiations and social dialogue on climate change and sustainable development and make them available to the organisation.
  • Actively participate in Unio’s policy development in the field of climate change and sustainable development and safeguard the profession’s role in the process.
  • Encourage Unio to invite the social partners to discuss collective agreements as a tool for sustainable development.
  • Use our memberships in Education International and the Nordic Teachers’ Council to share knowledge and experiences of negotiations and social dialogue that include sustainable development.

A fair transition

The transition to a sustainable society requires sweeping readjustments. The green shift must be fair. Goods and burdens must be evenly distributed to prevent adverse effects and increased differences in Norwegian society or between countries. If the transition comes to have an inequitable impact or creates job insecurity, it will undermine support for climate change measures. Value creation as a result of a green shift must benefit society. The countries hardest hit by climate change have often contributed the least to global heating. At the same time, these countries have limited opportunity to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

In the current period Union of Education will:

  • Work to involve our union representatives at all levels in reorganisation processes at the earliest possible stage.
  • Use the two and tripartite cooperation to work for a sustainable transition of society with just distribution of benefits and burdens.
  • Through our membership in Unio, work to ensure that a green transition results in a fair distribution of value creation.
  • Work for a just transition internationally through our memberships of the Nordic Teachers’ Council and Education International.