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YUSU declares a climate and ecological emergency

They’re campaigning for the uni to follow

On September 27th YUSU declared that we are living in a climate and ecological emergency. The union follows in the steps of City of York Council who declared a climate emergency back on March 23rd, committing to carbon neutrality by 2030.

In an statement released, they've said

"We are living in a global emergency created by the wilful disregard of our living planet and all life on earth."

"We must act now. As a union based upon representing and fighting for students, we must do everything within our power to educate our members and fight this global climate and ecological emergency."

YUSU have outlined a number of practical steps to ensure they act accordingly in line with the climate emergency. Union societies and events will aim to run in sustainable ways from now on, including "banning the unnecessary use of single use plastics".

The union also admits some changes need to be implemented by the University of York. YUSU pledges a number of issues it will campaign for until the University of York addresses them.

These issues include the University of York declaring a climate and ecological emergency itself, including a commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030.

Banning unnecessary single use plastics on campus, reviewing campus waste disposal, greening the curriculum, only using renewable energy sources and running a public information campaign on climate breakdown for students are also included in the YUSU statement.

York University Student Union calls on students to join them in signing this petition calling for the University of York to declare a climate emergency. The petition commands a list of commitments the university should act upon, including to reinvest money no longer invested into funds that went towards fossil fuels into sustainable community programmes.

The new Vice- Chancellor Charlie Jeffery announced the University of York is divesting from fossil fuels in his inaugural speech yesterday. This announcement related to one of the proposals outlined by YUSU in their statement, to "escalate current campaigns such as the "Divestment Campaign" and the NUS "Green Impact Scheme".

To keep up to date with campaigning, students are encouraged by YUSU to join the Environment + Ethics Collective Facebook Group.

A climate and ecological emergency declaration from YUSU was part of the currently elected Environment & Ethics Officer's manifesto.