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11th October 2022

European Commission, FEE and GoodPlanet Belgium welcome the Running Out of Time baton in Brussels! 

11 October 2022, Brussel: On Tuesday 11 October, the Running Out of Time relay passed through Brussels, Belgium where representatives from GoodPlanet Belgium, member of the Foundation for Environmental Education, the European Commission and former FEE President Jan Eriksen were present to welcome the relay baton. 

After a 10 day 1,676km journey through Scotland, Wales and England carried by runners and cyclists, the relay baton arrived at the shore of France on Sunday, October 9th, its safe crossing of the English Channel ensured by rowers, sailors and windsurfers working together. That baton was carried through France with the support of our partner, the Office for Climate Education, arriving in Belgium on Monday afternoon.

As the seat of the European Union and the European Commission, Brussels is a significant stage along the relay route, and it was an honour to have Michael Teutsch, Head of Unit – Schools and Multilingualism from the European Commission participate in the baton handover event. The European Commission schools policy team joined the event to show their support for the initiative. Mr. Teutsch spoke about the work underway to foster closer cooperation between EU countries on sustainability in education and training.  

Jan Eriksen, Former President of the Foundation for Environmental Education was also present and reiterated the importance of universal, quality climate education and highlighted that to ensure equitable access to it for all we must involve stakeholders at every level from children and youth, teachers, local and national initiatives and policy makers to global networks and institutional policy development programmes and agencies: “FEE represents a global network of civil society practitioners, with dedicated members such as GoodPlanet Belgium, that have significant experience implementing climate education on the ground. The European Commission facilitates the global discussion, developing tools and supporting action plans that address climate change at the European level. Partnerships and dialogue between global or regional stakeholders such as the Commission and grassroot initiatives such as Running Out of Time, offer an opportunity to develop global policies and actions that better support the efforts of civil society actors, and help grassroot initiatives identify where they can achieve the greatest impact and encourage positive change.” 

Key to the success of the Running Out of Time relay in Belgium has been the support of the FEE member, GoodPlanet Belgium. GoodPlanet Belgium is responsible for running the Green Key, Blue Flag and YRE programmes in Belgium, and the Eco-Schools programme in Brussels and Wallonia. For over 20 years, GoodPlanet Belgium has been contributing to sustainable development in Belgium through projects, campaigns and climate education.

Students from local schools were also present to celebrate the arrival of the baton.

"Environmental education has been at the heart of our work for 25 years. Every year, we visit 3,500 schools from kindergarten to university throughout Belgium. We sincerely believe that children need to be given the keys to understand the climate issues so that they can act at their own level and contribute to the transition to a more sustainable society. Next to education, we also help and encourage the implementation of concrete actions such as the creation of school streets, greener playgrounds, or sustainable canteens.”  - Jo Van Cauwenberge, Director of GoodPlanet Belgium

The baton continues along the route, with a handover planned in Bonn, where it will be welcomed on October 14 by representatives of the UNFCCC in the presence of FEE President, Lesley Jones.

- ENDS – 


KEY LINKS

The Whole Route Timings: https://running-out-of-time.com/route/

Global Schools Action Day: Thursday 3rd November
Global Relay Stage: Saturday 5 November

FAQs: Link FAQs 

RELAY PARTNERS - https://running-out-of-time.com/partners including sponsorship from Ecotricity, Britain's greenest energy supplier.

MEDIA CONTACTS

NOTES FOR EDITOR

Running Out of Time is a record-breaking 7,767km journey through 18 countries to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27 in order to deliver a climate message from young people to world leaders. The 40 day mass-participation relay mission from Glasgow to Sharm-El-Sheikh is the longest non-stop relay ever attempted.

The route includes Scotland, Wales, England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt - arriving to Sharm el-Sheikh on November 8th 2022 in time for COP27 which will take place from 6th-18th November 2022. See the whole route here. 

Runners and cyclists carry the baton in 5-10km stages of the route which crosses seas, mountain ranges, glaciers, and deserts, villages, towns and capital cities. It will visit hundreds of schools, at-risk locations and climate change projects to inspire and champion local climate action. At the same time, runners will be fundraising for the Foundation for Environmental Education and Carbon Copy

People around the world who are unable to run a stage on the physical route won’t miss out. They’re invited to pass the baton during a Global Virtual Relay on November 5th 2022. 

Register to take part: www.running-out-of-time.com

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