Resolution on Forming a Climate Change and the Environment Committee


This resolution requests that our union formally recognize climate change and its associated risks, and calls for the creation of a committee to lobby the employer on union-approved climate and environment issues.

It reads as follows.

Forming a Climate Change and the Environment Committee

Whereas

  • The scientific consensus is that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (i.e., >95% probability) that this warming is predominantly human caused.

And whereas

  • Climate change is responsible for an increase in natural disasters and extreme weather events such as flooding, wild fires, heat waves, and super storms, and these events make the work of paramedics more difficult and less safe.

And whereas

  • If climate change continues unabated there will be further acidification of the ocean, collapse of fisheries, more drought, and climate refugees. All of which will jeopardize the well-being of future generations more so than our own.

And whereas

  • The American Lung Association estimated the health costs associated with vehicle emissions within just 10 of the United States to be over $24 billion for 2015, and that the International Agency on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency both agree that diesel exhaust and benzene in gasoline are known carcinogens.

And whereas

  • Ambulances are often left idling in front of stations and emergency departments to maintain the demands of the heating, cooling and electrical systems, exposing our members and patients to harmful emissions. We are also exposed to benzene in gasoline on a daily basis while fulfilling the duty of fuelling our vehicles.

And whereas

  • Hospitals were amongst the earliest organizations to ban the smoking of tabaco, and are currently very diligent in posting the non-smoking aspect of their properties, and that this evidence would suggest that the ambulance service would be in a unique position to be of the first organizations to pursue the adoption of electric vehicles that are better for the environment and peoples health.

Let it be resolved that

  • CUPE 873 recognizes the scientific consensus that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (i.e., >95% probability) that this warming is predominantly human caused. Furthermore climate change is responsible for an increase in natural disasters and extreme weather events such as flooding, wild fires, heat waves, and super storms, and these events make the work of paramedics more difficult and less safe. CUPE 873 also recognizes if climate change continues unabated there will be further acidification of the ocean, collapse of fisheries, more drought, and climate refugees. All of which will jeopardize the well-being of future generations more so than our own. Therefore, the union will form a climate change and environment committee who will be responsible for lobbying the employer and work with other key players to implement solutions to help us reduce our carbon and environmental footprints.

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