The Union should support the activities of YouthStrike4Climate

Passed: May 2019 (13th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

We propose that Leeds University Union back student climate protest in the UK by issuing a formal statement of support (on its website, in the Gryphon student newspaper and to national press) for the ongoing peaceful climate protests taking place monthly under the banner YouthStrike4Climate. This statement should endorse the activities of students who give up their time and energy to organising or attending these events, and stress the importance of younger generations’ ideas to reversing the effects of human-caused climate change. It should also support the demands which have been raised by YouthStrike4Climate for the UK to become carbon neutral by 2030, for significant investment in affordable public transport, and for rapid conversion of greenhouse gas emitting industries to sustainable production on the basis of no job cuts or cuts to pay and conditions - as well as calling for action within the University to move towards carbon neutrality by 2025.

In addition to a statement of support, we ask that the Union facilitate the activities of students taking part in the movement by providing printing and publicity resources, as well as arranging subsidised transport to YouthStrike-related national events outside of Leeds, for University of Leeds students. Such events are not as of yet confirmed and would not be regular occurrences.

These would be bold, historic steps for Leeds University Union to take, and would no doubt grant the Union a degree of national attention. The Union would be one of the first student unions, if not the very first, to express support for YouthStrike4Climate, a thriving, growing peaceful movement that has empowered young people - many of whom are too young even to vote - to demand agency over their own future, intrinsically linked with that of our planet. It has become increasingly apparent that, as a species, we can ill-afford to wait any longer to make the necessary changes to our economic systems and personal lifestyles to reverse the devastating effects of human-caused climate change, and yet that is exactly what governments around the world continue to do. This movement of young people, mostly school students, has potential, but with the support of a University - and potentially more to follow our lead - YouthStrike4Climate would have a real chance of bringing about lasting change.

Expires: May 2022 (13th)

Submitted By: Morgan King

Officer: Union Affairs / Community

Area of Work: Campaigns

Updates

August 2020: This is a key area of work for new Community Officer Lotti. Use of space within the LUU building is still unclear at present, but the offer for groups to use the Rep Room to meet and organise still stands when that is safe to do so.

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

  • When students return though, we will continue to support YS4C and partner organisations, and the offer of space in the building remains as and when it is safe to do so.

March 2020: In addition, the Political Engagement Team have offered use of the Rep Room to Extinction Rebellion for future meetings.

December 2019: No updates to below, but LUU will continue to support student campaigners in this area (and other areas!). If you've got something you're passionate about or want to lead on a campaign, pop by the Rep Room on Level 1 of LUU to chat to the Political Engagement Team or email them on LUU.PET@leeds.ac.uk

September 2019: The University has committed to 'bold climate crisis action' and published seven principles including divesting from 'significant fossil fuel extractors'. - YS4C referenced in LUU statement as well.

May 2019: LUU declaration of support for YouthStrike4Climate announced.