In recent years, the true impact of human activity on climate change has become more clear. Accordingly, environmental sustainability has become a top priority for Canadians and polls reveal that Canadians have high expectations for government action.
As with the peace and civil rights movements, students have played a critical role in the environmental movement for decades. Through organisations such as the Canadian Federation of Students and the Sierra Youth Coalition, students are mobilising across Canada to put pressure on politicians to take action on climate change and other environmental issues.
December 2007 marked the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol. Although Canada committed to reducing its emissions 6% below 1990 levels during 2008-2012, greenhouse gas emissions had actually increased by 27% by 2004. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007, Canada’s chief negotiator, Pierre-Marc Johnson, admitted that Canada lacks credibility on climate change. In fall 2008 the Canadian Federation of Students, in partnership with the Sierra Youth Coalition, launched the Students for Sustainability campaign. The campaign aims to highlight the actions students are taking in support of the environment, encourage students to get involved with sustainability initiatives and pressure the federal government to take concrete action against climate change.
Members of the Canadian Federation of Students have long prioritised environmental and social sustainability as an issue of importance for the organisation. Student unions from across the country have come together to develop progressive policies and practices within the organisation to ensure that all of our materials and operations are as sustainable as possible.
For example, all of the paper materials produced for this campaign are produced on tree-less paper (100% recycled) using vegetable-based inks and processed chlorine-free. The paper stock is taken from trees forested using the most sustainable practices in Canada (certified by the Forest Stewardship Council). The buttons can be recycled after use.