In order to unite our voices with those of youth around the planet demanding immediate action on climate change, the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) is expressing our enthusiastic support for the School Strike for Climate movement and the climate strikes on the world-wide days of action this September.
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That Federation is urging Boards of Education to support students who wish to attend the School Climate Strikes of Sept. 20 and 27th by encouraging administrators to:
- excuse student absences on both dates, and
- provide administrative support to teachers planning field trips on those days
BCTF members are deeply moved by the voices and actions of youth involved in the climate strike movement. Through climate strikes, youth have clearly communicated their urgent plea for action to address the climate emergency. To acknowledge teachers’ role in ensuring the planet and future generations of students are able to thrive, the BCTF supports the Youth Climate Strike on September 20 and the Earth Strike on September 27. We are honoured to show our support for youth’s urgent call for action on climate change by publicly expressing our solidarity.
The effects of climate change currently manifesting themselves across our nation and around the world are only a glimpse of what lies in store unless significant action is taken. BC teachers are alarmed by the findings of Canada’s Changing Climate Report, which identifies that climate warming in Canada is approximately double that of global warming. It predicts that continued global warming will contribute to increased floods, droughts, and wildfires; decreased access to freshwater; threats to marine ecosystems; loss of land along our coastlines; and further increases in green house gas emissions.
To mitigate these and other devastating impacts of climate change, we must limit global warming to 1.5°C. To achieve this goal, the Special Report on Global Warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Canada’s Changing Climate report call for a 50% reduction in green house gas emissions by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050. While recognizing that the impacts of global warming within our own province and nation will be catastrophic, the BCTF acknowledges that decisions taken on climate change and the use of fossil fuels disproportionately affect future generations, Indigenous peoples, people experiencing poverty, and those living outside of oil-producing nations.
Many months have passed since these recommendations were made public. Despite these warnings, little significant action has been taken. Youth in Canada and around the world are deeply alarmed by our political leaders’ limited efforts to address the climate emergency. The BCTF wholeheartedly support the efforts of youth to have their voices heard on this critical issue.