Horizontal photo of a climate protest within a crowd of people holding signs

UCL launches new climate action campaign ahead of UN summit in November

‘Generation One offers everyone the chance to understand the science behind the issues facing our planet’

UCL’s new initiative, Generation One, aims to channel ground-breaking science and concepts into action against climate change, ahead of the UN’s COP26 November summit in Glasgow.

The name for the campaign has been taken from Barack Obama’s words: “We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change, and the last generation who can do something about it.”

With everything from sustainable fashion workshops to  stand-up comedy about climate change events, and a sustainability idea competition to a dinner for two at Silo (one of the world’s only zero-waste restaurants), the campaign aims to ensure everyone, UCL student or not, can contribute towards “turning science and ideas into climate action.”

UCL has long been a significant contributor to climate change and climate action research on the world academic stage, but Generation One, aims to make climate action accessible to all. 

The initial phase of the campaign has included several free learning events and activities, open to the public not just UCL staff and students. The campaign itself is also centred on 26 questions “relating to everyday lives and the race to net zero emissions – from food to fashion and from transport to finance.” You can find more information on these at the Generation One exhibition on UCL’s Bloomsbury campus and online through the Generation One website.

Generation One is only the most recent iteration of UCL’s effort to engage students in climate action. In the 2021 UCL Welcome Week, UCL hosted its first Sustainability Fair that attracted over 1,000 students through sustainability socials such as the cycle cinema organised and hosted by Sustainable UCL in conjunction with Project Active.

Richard Jackson, UCL Director of Sustainability, has explained the mission of the campaign: “We wanted to give people a sense of hope rather than fear – this campaign is about looking forward and the art of the possible, learning and acting in solidarity together.” 

Professor Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science at UCL, has said: “We are the first generation to tackle the climate and environmental crisis. At the heart of this new UCL campaign is the development of win-win-win solutions – real actions that make people safer, healthier, wealthier while ensuring we save our precious planet for ourselves and future generations.

“I look forward to taking the campaign and its message to COP26 with UCL’s ‘Team Glasgow’, where we will be at pushing for an ambitious wide-ranging international net zero emissions agreement which empowers meaningful action at all levels of society.”

Related articles recommended by this writer:

UCL wins the Green Gown Award for Climate Action

The Sustainability League: Which uni is the most eco-friendly?

These are the UK unis responsible for the most carbon dioxide emissions