More action needed to ensure schools are fossil fuel free

The country’s largest education sector union has welcomed the government’s announcement around removing coal boilers from schools but would like to see swifter action to support climate change initiatives. 

“This is a good first step on the pathway to a fossil free schooling sector but it needs to happen faster as 2025 is still three years away and that’s time we just can’t afford,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford.  

“This announcement is also just a starting point as it still leaves approximately 700 school boilers in Aotearoa fuelled by oil, gas and diesel, which are not transition fuels or suitable alternatives.”  

Rutherford says NZEI Te Riu Roa recognises the announcement is part of a broader decarbonisation initiative from the government, but it is important that learning environments reflect the kind of future we want for our tamariki. 

“All our tamariki deserve learning environments heated through clean energy as soon as possible,” he says. 

“We therefore challenge all political parties to commit to the next steps of funding all schools to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025.” 

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