Ask the University of Exeter to declare a Climate Emergency

Ask the University of Exeter to declare a Climate Emergency

2 May 2019
Petition to
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor, University of Exeter
Signatures: 1,641Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Sarah Redman

Dear Professor Sir Steve
Declaring a climate emergency
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published in 2018 states that we have only twelve years (now eleven) to take emergency action on climate change. If global temperatures rise by 1.5°C, humans will face unprecedented climate-related risks and weather events. We are currently on course for a 3°C rise in global temperatures, which will lead to the destruction of our environment and the death and displacement of millions of people.
Earlier this year, both Cornwall Council and Devon County Council declared a climate emergency. Similarly, both Newcastle University and the University of Bristol have declared climate emergencies, the latter following establishing a “strong link” between climate change anxiety and mental health issues experienced by students.
The University of Exeter has a wealth of expertise within climate science with several of its academics carrying out research within sustainability - including within the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI). The University also has a rich history of involvement with the IPCC, including having hosted its Transformational Climate Science Conferencein 2014. More recently, the University’s climate change expertise was highlighted through three of its academics’ participation in the BBC documentary ‘Climate Change – The Facts’.
This interest in environmental sustainability is not just rooted within the University’s academic staff, but also its students.  For instance, many Cornwall Campus students study subjects rooted in sustainability such as Renewable Energy, Environmental Science and Bioscience. In addition, within Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union (FXU), sustainability-related work has gained further momentum this academic year, with the establishment of a Green Committee, which aims to help promote and develop the sustainability agenda. Outside of the curriculum, FXU currently has fifteen affiliated activity groups whose aims relate to sustainability – equating to over 10% of all groups.
Universities have a key role in leading public debate on issues that affect the population.
The University’s strategy indicates a commitment to being a “leading, internationally recognised higher education institution whose core business is the generation and dissemination of knowledge, which specifically includes Climate Change and Sustainable Futures”.
Declaring a climate emergency will evidence that commitment.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, believe the University of Exeter should:
1. Declare a Climate Emergency; and
2. Take proactive action on tackling climate change by committing to becoming carbon neutral by at least 2030.
Yours sincerely
Sarah Redman, FXU President Student Experience 2018-20
Izi Robe, FXU President Exeter 2018-19
Harry Bishop, FXU President Community & Welfare 2017-19
Grace Frain, President of the University of Exeter Students' Guild 2018-19
Rose Ahier, VP Welfare and Diversity of the University of Exeter Students' Guild 2018-19


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Signatures: 1,641Next Goal: 2,500
Support now