How do we include schools in the climate agenda? Let’s ask the new president

K12 Climate Action is asking just that in a letter to the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

In the letter urging the Department of Education participation in a cross-agency approach to address climate change, they note, “By including representation of education in a cross-agency plan, the Biden-Harris Administration can help to acknowledge the critical role education can play in climate solutions and help our country build long-lasting change to advance a more sustainable society.”

“The U.S. K-12 public school ecosystem is a large public sector with a considerable environmental impact. With over 98,000 schools across the country, schools are among the largest energy consumers for public sector buildings, and energy costs for schools have been estimated at $8 billion annually, the second highest cost for schools behind only salaries. Schools operate the largest mass transit fleet in the country with 480,000 primarily diesel school buses and drive an estimated 3.45 billion miles annually. Schools also serve over 7 billion meals each year, and decisions on food sourcing, options, and waste contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.”

“In addition to the considerable need to address climate change in America‚Äôs public schools,
education also provides a critical opportunity to work toward climate solutions. Our education
sector can work to mitigate its environmental impact and work to build resilience in preparation
for climate change. With over 50 million children enrolled in public schools, education can help
prepare children and youth to advance a more sustainable world.”

Read full letter here