Ahead of bushfire season, ACT Greens pledge smoke-free, heat-managed schools


With the impacts of climate change again expected to hit hard this summer, the ACT Greens have today committed to make all ACT school spaces smoke free, temperature controlled and appropriately ventilated, as soon as practicable - protecting our young people from the impacts of climate change, in a classroom setting.

It comes as the ACT Greens last week committed to enshrining the ‘Right to a Healthy Environment’ in the ACT’s Human Rights Act - that, if realised, would be an Australian first.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time. At this defining moment in time, the Greens have a comprehensive plan for our climate that puts people and our planet first,” ACT Greens Education Spokesperson Johnathan Davis said today.

“With Greens in Government, we’re making a world-class contribution to help Canberrans mitigate and adapt to the new climate reality. 

“But at a time of climate emergency, we can’t stop there.

“This summer’s bushfires devastated our region, and the grey haze of bushfire smoke across our city won’t soon be forgotten. 

“But just when you thought 2020 was tough enough, our next bushfire season is just around the corner - and in the face of an emergency, now is no time for complacency.

“That’s why we’re pleased to commit today to protecting our students from the health impacts of smoke and extreme heat in the classroom, so that they can learn and develop in a safe and healthy environment. This will require an audit of all existing schools, repairs and upgrades,  and better planning for new schools, as we try to keep our children and school staff as safe as possible with the changing climate. 

“This generation of young people will already pay an enormous price for climate inaction. In ways previously unimaginable, our students will be burdened with the enormous and unprecedented impacts of climate change. This is just one of the many commitments that the Greens make to Canberra families, as we look to give our young people the best start in life.”