Statement on the Walkout for Climate Justice

Statement on the Walkout for Climate Justice

SSMU supports and stands with the Walkout for Climate Justice taking place tomorrow, March 15. We fully endorse its demands for sweeping institutional and governmental climate action. SSMU recognizes that climate change already causes grave social injury to communities including, but not limited, to Indigenous peoples, migrant workers, and people of colour, across the world. These traditionally marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted while having contributed the least to the ongoing climate crisis. As such, SSMU denounces the insufficiency of actions by McGill University and the federal and provincial governments. Though McGill’s Climate & Sustainability Action Plan commits the University to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, McGill still holds millions of dollars of investments in the fossil fuel industry and conducts extensive research that entrenches this industry. The federal government praises its carbon tax legislation but then turns and purchases the Trans Mountain pipeline and uses the RCMP to violently force Indigenous peoples from their land.

Youth are calling upon the federal and provincial governments to enact bold climate legislation that will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to implement accessible and comprehensive climate change education programs. We demand that McGill University acknowledge that the fossil fuel industry causes immense worldwide environmental damage and grave social injury–disproportionately to marginalized communities–and, therefore, we demand McGill divest from fossil fuel companies. We call upon governments to implement and respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Walkout for Climate Justice will convene outside the Arts Building at 12pm on Friday, March 15. SSMU representatives will attend the walkout and publicly show solidarity with the students of McGill University, l’Université du Québec à Montréal, l’École de Technologie Supérieure, Concordia University, l’Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières, l’Université Laval à Québec, the Montmorency, Lionel Groulx and Saint Laurent Cégeps, Collège de Montréal, and youth demonstrating around the world.

Signed,
Matthew McLaughlin, Vice-President (Internal Affairs)
Jacob Shapiro, Vice-President (University Affairs)
Tre Mansdoerfer, President
Sophia Esterle, Vice-President (Student Life)
Jun Wang, Vice-President (Finance)

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