All Student Meeting 28/05/2019

Motion to declare a Climate Emergency

This motion looks to declare a climate emergency and get RHSU to work towards battling climate change.

This Union notes:

  1. The world is facing a climate and ecological crisis.
  2. The leading scientific community at the UN has warned in the IPCC Special Report - Global Warming of 1.5°C the existential threat to human life and stable modern civilisation posed by exceeding 1.5°C of global temperature increase to 2°C. [B.1] [B.2] [B.5].
  3. We have 11 years left to make the changes necessary to prevent the catastrophic effects of at least a 2°C rise from becoming an inevitable and irreversible reality [C.1].
  4. Rapid and decisive action is needed in all areas of society to meet these targets.
  5. The impacts of climate change will hit the underprivileged the hardest.
  6. Several universities (usually beginning with the SU), over 40 local councils and UK Parliament have already declared a climate emergency.


This Union believes:

  1. Declaring a climate emergency would set a precedent and enable the Union to take the lead in action and putting pressure on the College to improve its sustainability initiatives.
  2. This motion will provide a body of support for students and a platform for open discussion surrounding the issue of climate change.
  3. The Union has an important role in enabling students to take action to protect their future.
  4. The link between corporate power, privilege and climate change cannot be ignored and must be highlighted.


This Union Resolves:

  1. For the Students’ Union to publicly declare a climate emergency,
  2. For the Student’s Union to raise awareness of the emergency and create a point for discussion and act as a body of support of this global issue.
  3. To give students a voice about measures we feel should be taken, and enable a forum and platform for discussion in the form of discussion groups, actions and workshops.
  4. To lobby the College to declare a climate emergency and adopt the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into its new Strategic Plan.
  5. To continue to lobby the College to fully divest from fossil fuels so that the College does not hold any of its assets in fossil fuel companies and reinvests in companies committed to full decarbonisation.
  6. To act in solidarity with Youth Strikes for Climate and similar grassroots youth climate action groups.


This Union mandates:

  1. The Union to support student involvement in Climate Strikes and other relevant protests.
  2. For the Officer Group to take a lead in raising awareness of environmental justice as an intersectional issue, acknowledging the disproportionate impact of climate change on people of colour and women, and the role of colonialism in environmental degradation.

Proposed: Cosmo Cattell

Seconded: Marcelina Rejwerska