Our movement demands bold leadership at #COP21

Thursday 22-10-2015 - 16:31

Later this year, global leaders will come together to negotiate an agreement on climate change at #COP21. Today, our movement came together to demand leadership from our government, and bold action around the world.

The UN climate negotiations represent the first ever attempt to reach a global agreement on keeping averages temperatures below 2 degrees.

To do this, we need to keep 80 per cent of fossil fuels in the ground, and transition to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050 – and that’s what we’ve been calling for today. Here’s just some of what you’ve been getting up to.

East Kent College Students’ Union

We’re holding a national craftivism action, where groups of students are holding stitch-ins on their campuses.

Students across the country are stitching their own squares with a personal message. In a few weeks, activists will stitch the whole thing together to make a banner to lead the student bloc of the London Climate March.

“When I heard about the COP21 meeting of global leaders, it made me reflect on what we the students’ union could do to make a difference in the fight against climate change”, said East Kent College Students' Union president Charmaine Jacobs.

“I was particularly drawn to this craftivism activity as it has allowed for our supported learning students to take the lead, use their creative skills and have their work make a difference and contribute to a national-global campaign”

University of Sussex Students’ Union

The University of Sussex Students’ Union, held an afternoon of social justice and furious computer typing.

They’re ramping up pressure for their institution to divest, with coordinated social media action this afternoon, as well as directly targeting alumni, staff and key civil society to sign an open letter.

“The COP21 day of action is the perfect chance to raise the platform of climate change, the most important issue of our time”, said society and citizenship officer Sarah Gibbons.

Liverpool Guild of Students

Deputy president Alex Ferguson hosted a rally in University Square organised by Liverpool University Guild's Fossil Free group.

It included speakers from different groups representing YMCA COP21 delegation, anti-fracking groups and the Fossil Free group, as well as loads of music and food.

Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union

“At MMU, we’re delighted to be collaborating with UoM to maximise our impact on COP21”, says president Jordan Stephen.

“We’re screening This Changes Everything to get students talking about sustainability and we’re hoping to use the event as a springboard for activity on COP21 and climate activism more broadly”

This Changes Everything – based on the book by Naomi Klein – is a rousing call to action for the climate movement, exploring how capitalism and the climate crisis are closely interwoven.

Royal Holloway University of London Students’ Union

We sent out 100 pieces of a puzzle to 100 students’ union presidents. We want our leaders to sign their piece, send it back, and we’ll take the completed picture to the Climate March in November.

Above you can see president Nayab Cheema with her piece of the puzzle, and her message: “Leave our planet alone! What has it ever done to you?”

100 pieces, 100 voices, 1 message – bold action on climate change.

Aberdeen University Students' Association

Aberdeen got out to the public with their action on COP21.

“We’re doing an all-day banner making event and talking to people about the conference in Paris and why it is so important for them to sign the petition to put pressure on our leaders”, says president for ethics and environment Laura Cristea.

There’s been too much action to show here in full. We were absolutely overwhelmed with everything you got up to.

Thanks to every single one of you who sent in pictures, stitched a banner, signed a puzzle piece, told someone about COP, emailed their MP, and became part of a global wave of action on climate change.

You can see even more stuff over on our Twitter feed where we shared material through the day.

Inspired to do more? Join us next month for the Student Sustainability Summit.



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