There is a high level of carbon emissions in our atmosphere, and it’s causing significant harm to our climate— hotter temperatures, drought, stronger storms, larger wildfires, sea level rise, and more. Therefore, it’s critical for all sectors of society to stop burning fossil fuels and move to 100% clean, renewable energy. School districts can play a very important role in addressing climate change, as they are often major energy users within municipalities.
That’s why UYES is working with Sierra Club Utah Chapter and partner organizations on the 100% Clean Energy Schools Campaign. With support from adult allies and organizations, we are working to pass school board resolutions in Utah that commit districts to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy. Some of the benefits include:
- Improving indoor air quality and health of students and staff
- Saving money, which can be reinvested into underserved students and classrooms
- Strengthening community resilience
- Enhancing learning opportunities in STEM and climate justice
- Creating local jobs
In 2019, students from three district high schools in Salt Lake City organized in partnership with Sierra Club Utah and Climate Parents to collect 800 petition signatures from students, parents, and staff to support moving the school district to a commitment to a clean energy transition; and continued to meet with board members virtually despite COVID-19 school closures. Ultimately, their hard work paid off—Salt Lake City Board of Education passed a resolution committing the district to transition to 100 percent clean electricity by 2030 and a transition off-gas by 2040.
This means that nearly 25,000 students in Salt Lake City will be able to learn in buildings wholly powered by renewable energy. In 2021, while students supported the Salt Lake City implementation, they began organizing with three new school districts—Granite, Davis, and Park City—to see similar results.
Photos by Grey Jensen, youth activist and photographer on Granite Clean Energy Team
We want to work with you — whether you’re a student, teacher, parent, community activist, or school official — to help your school district make the shift to 100% clean energy. Click here to get the 100% clean energy organizing toolkit and “how to” handbook today! Please also contact us to learn how to get involved with this campaign in Utah in Granite, Davis and Park City School District.
“We believe committing Granite School District to 100% clean energy paves the way for the rest of the community to follow in-suit, protecting not just the health of students and teachers, but the entire Valley as a whole. “We are doing our part to tackle climate change, while increasing the safety and resiliency of our community as we rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis.”
Aarushi Verma, student of the Students for 100% Clean Energy team and senior at Skyline High School.