The SU and the University Declare A Climate Emergency

Today, The SU, together with the University of Bath, joined the global movement of student organisations declaring a climate emergency.

We are committing to a series of urgent actions and welcome the series of actions also announced by the University to tackle the climate crisis. We are pleased to now be in line with the local area, given that B&NES, Bath Spa University and its Students’ Union have declared a climate emergency too.

The SU’s pledge includes working to achieve ‘Excellent’ in the NUS Green Impact accreditation scheme within a three-year timeframe building on previous moves such as removing plastic straws from our outlets, increasing our meat-free provision at our farmers’ markets, and continuing our lobbying activity with the University and beyond.

Declaring means taking practical steps that include radically changing our operation as an SU: whether it looks at our commercial operation, our big events like Freshers’ Week and Summer Ball, or the work of individual SU departments, this change will have lasting effects on how we operate and therefore we must do it right.

Francesco Masala, who has been involved in sustainability action within the SU and the University as part of his role as SU Activities Officer, said:

“While we can make meaningful changes within the student communities of The SU, the real power lies with the University itself,

“The University has committed to a Climate Action Framework, and we are pleased with the level of student engagement on this important initiative. Since day one, The SU and some of its groups, including Amnesty and People & Planet, have lobbied for a radical approach to tackling the climate emergency, including ambitious targets of carbon neutrality and commitments to making the University operation more sustainable. We are pleased to see that our lobbying efforts joined with the work of staff members across the University has allowed us to reach this important achievement.

“Ensuring the university commits to radical climate action in its strategy is one of the SU’s priority campaigns this year, and it will remain one of the most important issues to keep tackling in the future. The SU, along with its groups such as Amnesty and People & Planet, will continue to lobby the university to divest fully from any link to the fossil fuel industry: this includes divesting from Barclays and other firms that invest in industries that deeply harm our planet”.

Following a climate Summit last year, The SU has established a climate action group of student activists, officers and staff, and will continue working with them and our community to develop our plan of action. The SU is also prioritizing this climate shift as part of the new strategic plan. This ‘Climate Shift’ element of our new strategy will ensure that sustainability is one of our core areas of work in future years. University, student and SU action is important now more than ever.

If you want to get involved in shaping the direction of our SU in terms of sustainability, please get in touch and email Francesco at suactivities@bath.ac.uk.

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