A group of bipartisan mayors from over 250 cities are taking an important stand against “climate change denialism,” calling for the “swift implementation” of climate education in high schools nationwide.
At the US Conference of Mayors annual meeting this June, Mayor Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco and other mayors passed a resolution in the Environment Committee that calls for schools to partner with the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE)* and similar organizations to provide climate education to students in their cities. This resolution was adopted June 22 by the full conference.
In introducing this resolution, Lee was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and Seattle Mayor Edward Murray. The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.
“Mayors across our country are committed to providing comprehensive climate science education in our schools to ensure that tomorrow’s leaders have the learning and tools to address climate change with innovative solutions and responsible policy,” said Mayor Lee in a press announcement. “We believe in science and the existence of climate change that affects our cities, and we are taking steps to ensure that as our cities succeed, we also have a healthy, sustainable future.”
Calling for Climate Change Education
“Climate change is real and our kids deserve to learn real science in our schools. That’s why we’re taking a stand,” said Stanton, Chair of the Environment Committee for the US Conference of Mayors.
Following the resolution, ACE founder Michael Haas provided this perspective: “Today, these mayors have taken this momentous step to address climate change. We are eager to work with communities across the country to bring comprehensive climate science education to each and every high school student.”
ACE engages students through interactive programming that explain climate change and explore solutions. ACE also works with students to get involved in their local communities through sustainability projects, civic engagement, and a fellowship program that teaches young people the knowledge and skills to be confident leaders on the issue. Through support from Haas, individual donors, and institutional funders, ACE offers its programs to every school that is interested. Haas said the organization never turns away a school for lack of funds.
ACE gave its first climate science assembly at San Francisco’s Mission High School in 2009, and has since reached nearly two million students in 25 different cities.
*Disclosure: This article was kindly sponsored by ACE.