Last Monday, Queen’s University’s Students’ Union held a council meeting and passed a motion to enact a Climate Emergency. This motion signifies a commitment on behalf of QUBSU to work towards the university achieving a ‘net-zero’ result in its carbon emissions, in all of its activities, by the year 2030.
To meet this end, this Climate Emergency motion urges the SU to lobby Queen’s to make clear changes to its policies. These potential changes in policies would push the university to even out its carbon footprint so as to not add to wider carbon emissions being released from Belfast. Additionally, the SU’s motion is leading to the formation of a Climate Action Group to encourage student participation and to further aid in the journey towards carbon-neutrality for the college.
Ellen Fearon, Student Activities Officer for QUBSU, has stated that motivations for this motion include other urgent actions on climate change being seen in the community. “The motivation behind this was to join other organisations, such as UCU and Belfast City Council,” she told the Gown.
She made apparent the dire need for change, stating: “We are emphasising the importance of urgent action, and shouting from the rooftops that we are indeed in a period of climate and ecological breakdown. I think this motion was incredibly important, as it was the first step for us as a Students’ Union in having the students’ voice heard on this issue. It was also the first step in lobbying our University to change their actions and policies to ensure they are net carbon neutral by 2030 at the very latest.”
With the October climate protests that saw many students voicing a desire for definitive action, as well as Belfast City Council’s recent unopposed decision to state a Climate Emergency of their own,, a consciousness over the carbon footprints of large and small organisations in the city has perhaps begun to grow. QUBSU has now started to set a path for itself within this growing consciousness, working towards a hopeful future free from climate disaster.
The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.
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