Climate education with hope and drive: 21 projects to receive DKK 39 million.

VILLUM FONDEN will donate a total of DKK 39 million to 21 projects involving climate education in primary, secondary and vocational schools. The projects will develop and test action-oriented courses for children and young people throughout Denmark.


The funding pool for climate education is an initiative under the VELUX foundations’ climate project ‘70by2030’, which supports Denmark’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030. With an anniversary grant totalling DKK 320 million, VILLUM FONDEN, VELUX FONDEN and the KR Foundation support a number of joined-up climate initiatives involving knowledge dissemination, broad popular engagement and education.

Read more about the 70by2030 initiatives on the KR Foundation’s website.

Eco-friendly blacksmiths, climate diplomats and positive climate stories in journalism. These are the focuses of three of the 21 projects that will receive grants under VILLUM FONDEN’s funding pool for climate education. The pool was established last year as part of the VELUX foundations’ large joint ‘70by2030’ climate project.

The projects will result in courses that develop teachers’ skills and enhance children’s and young people’s knowledge, commitment and competences in the climate area:

“It’s great to see both pupils, students and teachers call for more climate education that promotes hope and drive and counteracts apathy, polarisation and climate anxiety. All 21 projects share a common focus on promoting education that works with concrete and realistic solutions to the many challenges that climate change presents us with. These can for example be scientific and technological solutions, or solutions that support democracy, new legislation and behavioural changes in our everyday lives,” says Ole Laursen, Senior Advisor from VILLUM FONDEN’s grant area for children, young people and science.

Climate alliance in secondary schools

Knowledge sharing is an important element of all the projects. And it is especially important for the Danish Secondary School Association, which will receive a grant of DKK 1.9 million to develop the Secondary School Climate Alliance project, which will involve sharing experiences and knowledge of climate education and climate-friendly operation of secondary schools – and preferably make the two things work together:

“The education system plays a crucial role in the green transition. There is a huge demand from our pupils for schools to help further the climate agenda. We need to listen to that demand and try to meet it. It’s not just about the academic elements of the teaching, but also about pedagogical changes, the operation of and procurements for the schools and about the schools’ organisational culture,” says Mads Strarup, deputy headmaster of Copenhagen’s Open Secondary School and initiator of the Climate Alliance.

In the Climate Alliance, the secondary schools will share their best practice for courses, ideas and projects that can motivate and engage management, teachers and pupils:

“The secondary schools’ Climate Alliance brings together more than 60 secondary schools across the country, and is already helping to strengthen the dialogue through themed webinars, regional clusters, national conferences and more. The grant from VILLUM FONDEN will give this work a huge boost that will put sustainability firmly on the agenda in Danish secondary schools,” says Mads Strarup.

Ole Laursen
Head of Programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 92 43 76 48