Climate change policy

Adopted by the AEU SA Branch Council on 9 April 2020.

The AEU SA Branch recognises a Climate Change emergency and will respond to this across and beyond the education environment as follows:

Education will:

  • Focus on climate change from a solutions-based perspective, embedding it as a core element of all learning;
  • Support preschool, schools and TAFEs to take solutions-based climate action; and
  • Embed education for sustainability as a compulsory unit of study in initial teacher education (ITE).

AEU SA Branch/school/preschool/TAFE will:

  • Embrace and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and leadership;
  • Participate in a carbon emissions audit of the workplace;
  • Create a planned reduction of carbon emissions with the urgent goal of zero;
  • Enact policy, curriculum and priorities that reflect the need for sustainable and ongoing change as a result of climate emergency;
  • Support student agency through genuine and bona fide opportunities to participate in consultative processes on decisions that affect the learners in our care;
  • Unequivocally stand in solidarity with our students and support their democratic right to take action and give voice to their real concerns.
  • Support all learning communities to develop a Site Environment Management Plan; and
  • Provide professional learning opportunities and structures around climate change and education for sustainability.

The AEU SA Branch calls on the Department for Education to:

  • Embrace and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and leadership;
  • Provide targeted resourcing on an ongoing basis to minimise the impacts of climate change through focuses such as professional learning, eco-infrastructure development, curriculum and policy development and employment of additional staff to counter eco-anxiety;
  • Include environmental impact assessments and build to 5 star environmental rating levels all infrastructure works; and
  • Maintain, develop and coordinate state-wide strategies, programs and organisations to support learning environments to reduce, recycle, re-use, refuse as environmentally sound waste management practice.

The AEU SA Branch calls on Governments to:

  • Work with an evidence-based and non-partisan approach in response to global heating to protect Australia’s peoples, their well-being and livelihoods;
  • Urgently move towards zero carbon emissions, beginning with a carbon emissions audit of all public sector facilities;
  • Update existing energy reliance to embrace renewable sources in all areas of public sector transport, facilities and operational demands;
  • develop a well designed and resourced public transport system that includes a focus on safe walking and cycling routes;
  • Provide and promote educational opportunities for sustainable industries through tertiary courses for TAFE delivery; and
  • Seek the urgent deployment of methods for carbon sequestration (land and ocean).

The AEU SA Branch will:

  • Work with SA Unions to develop greater climate awareness and climate action in all industries and workplaces.
  • Demand a just transition policies and strategies for workers in carbon intensive industries and their communities at a federal level. This will recognise education in preschools, schools and TAFE as a vitalelement in mitigating the effects on workers’ lives and ensure access to the necessary quality and life-long education.
  • Seek full divestment of SuperSA from the fossil fuel industry.