The international project ClimACT, led by Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, one of the finalists in the 2018 edition of the European RegioStars awards, seeks to ensure a transition to the low-carbon economy in schools.
The initiative started in 2016 and brings together nine partners from Portugal, Spain, France and Gibraltar, who are working to promote “a low carbon economy transition” in 39 schools, covering about five thousand students, the project coordinator Lusa told the agency. International, Marta Almeida.
ClimACT is among the finalists of the RegioStars 2018 awards, an award with which the European Commission distinguishes innovative projects and good regional development practices supported by European funds. The winner will be announced on Tuesday at a ceremony to be held in Brussels, where the European Week of Regions and Cities is taking place.
According to Marta Almeida, the international project aims to ensure better energy efficiency and resources in schools, but also to encourage behavioral changes.
In this sense, the team audited schools in 2016 to identify the environmental and energy performance of schools, including waste management, transportation, green spaces and the type of purchases they made, and then identify improvements that could be applied in each one of the educational establishments.
However, the “ClimACT” project, which in Portugal works with schools in Loures, Lisbon and Matosinhos, was the “sensibility and involvement component of the school community”.
In order to ensure that the project takes root and is not just an ephemeral initiative, the team decided to involve the whole school community, either through an educational platform to train teachers, games for students to learn or integration of the entire community in its own audits and in the development of plans, he explained.
“We have set up a low carbon commission in each school, with teachers, students, parents and all those who can contribute to the transition, such as municipalities. These committees are independent of the project to be able to continue” the initiative, , implementation of the same and communication of results autonomously, stressed Marta Almeida.
According to the coordinator, this way it is possible to sensitize not only the generation of young people who are in the schools, but also their parents – “the children take the learning home” – as well as, in the future, their children.
The presence in the Blue Flag Association of Europe (ABAE) project, which manages the Eco-Schools project in Portugal, also allows sharing the result with this network in the country, or in the world, he stressed.
Portugal has four projects among the 21 RegioStars finalists, two from the North and two from the Center.
The i3S – Institute for Research and Innovation in Health and the Business and Shared Services Center of Fundão compete in the category of support for the intelligent industrial transition, the Kastelo project in the area of better access to public services and the Museum of Vista Alegre in the category of investment in cultural heritage.
Portugal is also represented in the international project ClimACT, a consortium of nine European institutions led by Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon.