NUT CLIMATE CHANGE MOTION
Conference recognises the following:
1. Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or below is essential if human civilisation is to be sustained and there is to be a future for our children;
2. Doing so requires sharp cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions on a very rapid timescale;
3. This requires 75-80% of known fossil fuel reserves to be left in the ground;
4. The technology exists to make a transition to a sustainable carbon neutral society with gains in living standards for the majority of humanity at an annual cost little greater than the current cost of annual fossil fuel subsidies, but this is incompatible with high levels of inequality and a society based on aspiration for luxurious lifestyles;
5. That growth will have to be primarily in those areas of the economy that enable this transition to take place;
6. The world’s wealthiest countries will have to make cuts in emissions of 8-10% a year (on top of those made by exporting manufacturing and related pollution to China and other countries);
7. Governments will have to put our economies on a war footing and take charge of necessary investment in sustainable energy, transport and urban planning because the private sector is not doing what is necessary;
8. This will not happen while the needs of our planet and our civilisation are held to ransom by the short-term profitability of the fossil fuel industries; and
9. This has profound implications for the structure and content of our education system, both in terms of content and values.
Conference instructs the Executive to call on the Government for:
i. The production of national plan for the most rapid possible transition to a carbon zero economy, including an immediate reversal of the current Government’s withdrawal of support from wind and solar energy;
ii. The most rapid possible retrofitting of all school buildings to make them as carbon neutral as possible (as part of a concerted plan for all publically owned buildings);
iii. An end to restrictions on solar panels by heritage considerations;
iv. A re-examination of the curriculum to put sustainability and the values of a sustainable society at the heart of it;
v. An immediate abandonment on fracking domestically and an embargo
on the import of any fracked gas or tar sand oil from any other country;
vi. The most rapid possible transfer of fossil fuel subsidies to sustainable energy generation and the phasing out of coal power without Carbon Capture Storage by 2023; and
vii. The most rapid possible socialisation of power generation.
Conference further instructs the Executive to:
a. Negotiate with the DFE on a new curriculum and seek support from other education unions;
b. Convene a working party of all interested teachers to work with relevant campaigns, like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Campaign against Climate Change, to find all the aspects of the current curriculum that can be developed to draw out a sustainable content and to examine those areas or values that need to be challenged and changed and produce model alternatives; making 2016-17 the year of the Green Curriculum;
c. Work with these campaigns on developing termly themes that link educational content with active citizenship and encourage our members to push them in schools;
d. Encourage union bodies at all levels to support national and local demonstrations and campaigns against fracking and climate change, negotiate with local authorities to make our schools carbon neutral solar power stations and press governing bodies to adopt a green school plan of action;
e. Take this issue up with other unions through the TUC, our international counterparts bilaterally and through Education International, supporting initiatives like the German TUCs new ‘Marshal Plan’ for Europe; and
f. Affiliate to the campaign against climate change:
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