NOW WE RISE – Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

Join the #WeAreRising march for climate justice on 9 December.

As winter sets in and temperatures are dropping, it’s in stark contrast to the searing heat experienced worldwide in the summer months. Without a doubt, temperatures globally are on the rise, in fact, experts have now confirmed that 2023 is officially the hottest year on record with extreme weather events causing catastrophic devastation worldwide, leading to humanitarian crises.

All the evidence points to a rapid and severe decline in our climate; therefore, it is incumbent on us to take action immediately. The use of fossil fuel and the resulting climate crisis affects working-class people and the global south the most. If we want to live on a sustainable planet, we must move away from the fossil fuel economy, begin a worker-led just transition, and tackle climate injustices.

The trade union movement has pledged its support to climate justice and started an important conversation about a just transition – ensuring workers are protected as changes are brought about to protect our climate.

Education is key to promote climate action; it promotes awareness and empowers us with the knowledge to address the impacts of climate chaos.

Commenting on the INTO’s responsibility to climate justice, General Secretary John Boyle said:

As a trade union, we are wholly committed to playing our part to address the climate emergency as we seek to promote and achieve the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. This will require a renewed national effort to take the necessary steps to deliver on these essential goals.

The INTO is encouraging members to attend the #WeAreRising march, organized by Climate Justice Ireland, taking place on Saturday, 9 December. Assemble at Grand Canal Dock (Bord Gáis Theatre) and march to the Larkin Statue at the GPO.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) funding

Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, recently made a timely announcement during the opening of COP28, the 28th annual United Nations climate meeting in Dubai, that €550,000 in funding would be made available for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) projects in 65 primary schools and 64 post-primary schools in Ireland. These projects will include new school gardens and outdoor classrooms, local wildlife walkways and poetry for climate justice and climate action.

At the end of November, the Department of Education also announced that 11 additional counties will be included in phase 2 of the long-awaited rollout of the solar panel scheme in schools. Funding for up to a maximum of 16 solar panels per school may be approved under the Schools Photovoltaic Programme (SPP). The INTO welcomes this initiative, which has the potential to reduce energy bills in our hard-pressed schools. We call on the Department of Education to prioritise and expedite the rollout of this scheme to all primary and special schools.

Social and Environmental Education

The new Primary Curriculum Framework, which includes a new area of learning – Social and Environmental Education – aims to help children develop an understanding of the natural environment and empower them to promote a more sustainable future.

INTO member Paula Galvin, a teacher and climate activist from Clonburris NS in Clondalkin, Dublin 22, is presenting a project, which has poetry as pedagogy at its heart, at COP28 next week. Read a booklet of poetry composed by her 4th class pupils.