LUU should lobby the University of Leeds to declare a Climate Emergency

Passed: May 2019 (14th)

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

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 and its world-leading climate research.

We therefore believe it is right for LUU to call on the University of Leeds to unite behind its own science and:

  • declare a Climate Emergency;

  • work with staff and students to develop a Climate Emergency Plan to reduce the University’s carbon emissions and environmental footprint in line with a 1.5°C target;

  • work with its suppliers as well as partners from the private, public and third sectors to help them reduce their carbon emissions in line with a 1.5°C target;

  • support Leeds City Council in delivering a Climate Emergency Plan for the city;

  • lobby the Government to declare a Climate Emergency;

  • take ambitious steps to integrate awareness and action on climate change into both teaching and staff and student engagement.

Expires: May 2022 (14th)

Submitted By: David Barns

Officer: Union Affairs

Area of Work: Campaigns


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: