'Fossil Free March' yields result at School District's Committee meeting

A call for the Greater Victoria School District to take action to combat climate change did not fall on deaf ears Monday night.

Close to 100 people participated in the "Fossil Free March" from Uptown Mall to the Operations, Policy and Planning Committee's meeting.   The organizing group, Parents 4 Climate!, called for the School District to declare a climate emergency, and create a climate action plan in line with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Tara Ehrcke, a member of Parents 4 Climate!, says their motion passed unanimously.

"So next step it goes to the full Board meeting, but there were 7 out of 9 of the Board Trustees there tonight I believe, so we feel pretty confident it will pass at the Board, and that will happen two Mondays from now.  And then they will start looking at how to address this plan."

She adds that the call to action didn't end with Greater Victoria.

"We were also quite pleased that the motion included writing to the neighbouring school districts to do the same, to also declare a climate emergency and begin planning.  And that was actually modified to have our Board write to every school district in the province, as well as the Provincial Government."

Ehrcke says the School Board will have to look at the intricacies of creating a plan that can match the IPCC's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, cutting emissions by 45% by 2030, and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.  She expects the planning will take until the end of the summer, but adds she hopes the public will be involved in the planning process along the way.

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