A dedicated team of students from the Halton District School Board (HDSB) recognized that they can have a significant impact on mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation efforts for climate action. Over the past year, they developed a student-led Climate Emergency Declaration which was brought forward to the HDSB Trustees and approved on June 3.
The approved motion, which will be displayed in every HDSB school, administrative building, and workplace states:
WE THE STUDENTS of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) declare a climate emergency on behalf of the students, staff and the wider HDSB community.
WE acknowledge that the students of the HDSB can have a significant impact on mitigation and adaptation efforts for climate action.
THE STUDENT SENATE of the HDSB has expressed their grave concern about the climate crisis and their interest in supporting a climate emergency declaration to safeguard our environment and our way of life while inspiring action to mitigate these threats. The Student Senate, on behalf of everyone in the HDSB, puts forward the following motion.
BE IT RESOLVED that the HDSB declare a climate emergency to recognize the challenges that this issue brings to our Board while also aiming to inspire our students, families, and staff to take collective action in combating climate change within their communities through the following actions;
- LISTEN to Student Voice using Board-administered surveys to identify actionable and measurable opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with student interaction with buildings, transportation and waste.
- EMPOWER students to initiate and take action through support of a network of school-based, student focused groups, connected to the Environmental Management Team, that set their own metrics for measuring and reducing GHG emissions.
- COMMUNICATE with students through annual reports to Student Senate on Board level actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- INCLUDE Student Voice on Sustainability Issues in School and Board Directives, using the Family of Schools structure.
- RECOGNIZE student achievements through an Environmental Excellence Award, presented in conjunction with the HDSB Inspire Award to a person who has undertaken or inspired environmental action.
Good job HDSB Student Trustees Matthew Burnes (Oakville Trafalgar HS) and Olivia Lau (White Oaks SS) and Student Senator representatives on the HDSB Environmental Management Team, Luka Simeunovic (Garth Webb SS) and Claire Jung (Forest Trail PS).
Thank you for taking action for our environment. We can’t wait to see the momentum that will come out of this approved declaration. You are demonstrating that collectively we can make a difference!