As a candidate for the Lewiston School Committee, I campaigned on a pledge to make our schools carbon neutral by 2030. Now, as I prepare to take office, I’m beginning the work of fulfilling that pledge. This month, I’ll be introducing a resolution to the School Committee declaring a climate emergency and committing Lewiston Public Schools to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Climate change is an existential threat to our planet and all beings who live on it. For too long, politicians have pretended this crisis didn’t exist or, at best, said the right things while doing nothing. That must end. We already face increased and intensifying wildfires, floods, rising seas, diseases, droughts and extreme weather brought on by climate change. The situation will only get worse without an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy during the next decade.

I believe the purpose of a public education is to secure the best possible future for the students receiving it — that’s why I ran for the School Committee — and the future welfare of students in Lewiston public schools depends in large part on whether and to what degree the world is able to restore a safe and stable climate. Some people will no doubt argue that we can’t afford to address climate change, but the science tells us that we can’t afford not to.

I hope my fellow School Committee members, and the people of Lewiston, will join me in this effort.

Kiernan Majerus-Collins, Lewiston

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