LUU should lobby the University to declare a climate emergency

Passed: November 2021 (23rd)

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

This policy is a resubmission of an existing policy to lobby the university to declare a climate emergency. We feel it is important that this policy is resubmitted to continue to encourage the university to reflect the values of students and to follow the work LUU is championing. LUU will be launching the sustainability strategy this semester which follows 3 key themes:

 It is our belief that in order to remain inline with the strategy, LUU must continue to hold the university to account on matters involving the climate crisis. This policy also ensures LUU continues to support student climate activist groups in their climate crisis campaigns.

Included below is the previous policy submission description which accurately describes the urgency of the situation and the scientific information it is founded on:

Evidence from our own Priestley Centre researchers, who helped write the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, shows that in order to avoid catastrophic climate change we must drastically reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

Following the report’s release, Sir David Attenborough said: "If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is still possible but will require rapid, far-reaching, “transformational” changes without historical precedent in their scale. If we do not act now, the world as we know it will not be fit for us to work, study or live in.

Young people across the world, including our own students, understand the severity of the situation. They are rising up and striking for the climate in their thousands. Hundreds of Leeds students and staff have joined the Leeds Youth Strike for Climate, most recently on Friday 12th April, part of the Global Climate Strike for Future.

There is no better time to show leadership as an institution that prides itself on sustainability.

Expires: November 2024 (23rd)

Submitted By: Aysha Burton

Officer: Union Affairs & Communications

Area of Work: Sustainability / Campaigns


24/06/22: The university have incorporated every aspect of the policy into their climate plan and brought forward their carbon neutral pledge. Remaining action from LUU is to highlight this success in line with the climate action billboard policy. 

February 2022: The university's climate plan was finalised and approved at university council, the plan was published and Aysha (Union Affairs & Comms Officer) is in the process of collecting feedback from students and key campaign groups. Consultation will continue up until climate week, with events in climate week run by the university for students to ask questions/raise concerns.

November 2021: Re-submitted as a new policy

August 2021: The University are still finalising the Climate Plan, and although decisions have not yet been made on investments, the investment planning process is due to continue this autumn. The University speak about this in more detail in their full statement. The Political Engagement Team have also discussed this policy with Ayesha (LUU's new Union Affairs & Communications Officer) who aims to continue pushing the University on its climate plan and work with LUU to finalise its Sustainability Plan (which will be launching soon). 

March 2021: University Climate Plan to be finalised at University Council and/or Senate in the next week (22 - 26 March). 

October 2020: The University was due to publish a more detailed report that went into the how they're going to meet their targets. This was due in late February but delayed due to Covid. Community Officer Lotti is following this up and we're hoping to see it published soon.

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.

June 2019: Was discussed at May University Council, and will be discussed again in July where a decision is expected to be made.

May 2019: LUU declaration of support for YouthStrike4Climate announced.

May 2019: New Policy. Leeds City Council have declared a climate emergency: