Mothers Out Front PWC, Climate Groups Applaud Bold Climate Resolution by Prince William County School Board
Published by Lowkell, Blue Virginia
Woodbridge, VA- The moms’ climate group Mothers Out Front (MOF) Prince William County is thrilled to announce the approval of the boldest climate resolution ever passed by a local Prince William authority.
The resolution, which was drafted with significant input over the course of the year from MOF, the Greater Prince William Climate Action Network (GPWCAN) and youth group PWC Climate Action, was passed unanimously by the PWC School Board last night.
Our groups advocated for several of the most significant actions included in the resolution:
- Recognizing climate change as a “worldwide threat with the potential to harm our economy, safety, public health, and quality of life” and planning to create “a long-term strategic plan to address sustainability concerns”;
- Directing staff to establish standards that include renewable energy and “provide options for design and construction of net zero buildings, including all new construction and major renovations over 10,000 square feet, as well as any major roof replacements”;
- Presenting the School Board with solar Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) plans for all new construction, and retrofitting opportunities for older schools, where appropriate;
- Providing the cost of replacing all fossil fuel school buses with electric school buses;
- Establishing a Sustainability Advisory Committee, comprised of community members, staff, and students, that will provide the School Board with perspectives of all stakeholders;
- Requesting that the Prince William Board of County Supervisors creates a Joint Task Force on Sustainability in concert with the School Board; and
- Creating measurable standards of environmental literacy, to include a focus on sustainability for all K-12 students in PWCS.
In response to the resolution’s passage, Del. Elizabeth Guzman, who represents Virginia’s 31st District in the House of Delegates, said:
“As a mother, I want to commend the Prince William Chapter of Mothers Out Front and their coalition for their efforts to pass such a comprehensive climate resolution at the Prince William County School Board this evening. This is a perfect example of how grassroots efforts will continue to change the political landscape of this country.”
The carbon pollution that comes from powering school districts nationwide with fossil fuels amounts to that produced by 18 coal plants, so making our school buildings net zero and switching to electric school buses is essential to our effort to combat climate change. Transportation is the largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and accounts for 40% of all emissions in Virginia, and the effects of diesel fumes on health and climate are well documented. Diesel school bus fumes contain particulate matter that causes asthma, premature death, stroke, heart attacks, premature birth, and low birthweight as well as NOx fumes, which are a known carcinogen. Also concerning is that diesel fumes are concentrated up to six times more inside a school bus than outside.
Tiziana Bottino, MOF Northern Virginia organizer and GPWCAN founder, said:
“Our parents and students can now truly be proud to live in a county that will provide world-class education. Children will not only learn about helping the planet with the use of clean energy but experience it firsthand in their classrooms and school buildings, where they spend most of their childhood. We will all benefit from these important initiatives through cleaner air, better education, and millions of dollars in energy savings over the years. We are so thankful to Chair Dr. Lateef and the entire School Board for their dedication to our children’s health and their future.”
Mothers Out Front will also host a webinar titled “Making the Business Case for Green Schools” on June 23 at 7pm.