UGDSB trustees unanimously approve climate change declaration

GUELPH – At the Nov. 26 Upper Grand District School Board meeting, trustees unanimously approved a trustee initiative focused on climate change.

The initiative presents trustees with an opportunity to publicly recognize the challenges youth face regarding climate change and to take action on climate change.

Trustees approved several motions including, to establish an ad hoc Trustee Climate Change Committee with representation from four trustees and one student trustee, and that trustees collectively declare a climate change emergency, recognizing the threat that climate change poses to students, humanity and the natural world.

Trustees will now prepare a terms of reference which will consider issues such as identifying how trustees can reduce their carbon footprint and identify how climate impact could be included in the trustee decision-making process.

At the meeting, trustees acknowledged the work already being done in carbon reduction and environmental sustainability throughout the school board.

“Trustees recognize the leadership and commitment that our system is already displaying … as evidenced by the results of the Environmental Sustainability Action Plan,” said board chair Linda Busuttil.

The resolution was brought forward to trustees by trustee Mark Bailey, vice-chair of the Board.

“My intention in introducing this resolution was for trustees to publicly acknowledge the dire threat climate change poses to our children and planet, and suggest a process of defining how trustees can work with each other, our students, our system, and our communities to earnestly and effectively respond to this emergency,” said Bailey.