EAUC calls on universities and colleges to let staff and students strike

19th September 2019

In advance of the Global Climate Strike on Friday, 20th September, EAUC are calling on its members in the higher and further education sector to support the strikes and sign the Global Climate Letter.

Iain Patton, CEO at EAUC, said: “As the alliance for sustainability leadership in education, the EAUC is incredibly supportive of the Global Climate Strike on Friday, 20th September.

“We are pleased to see students and staff from the UK’s universities and colleges adding their voices to the demands from school children and academics for more action on climate change. EAUC has encouraged its staff to join locally run strikes.

“The science is settled. Our climate is changing, and no matter how quickly we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, some major effects are locked in. This will influence nearly every area of all universities and colleges, from delivery of teaching, research and examinations, to student recruitment, supply chains, insurance premiums and the profitability of investments.

“Universities and colleges should be at the forefront of the climate crisis movement and that is why higher and further education institutions representing 2,736,661 students, have already declared a Climate Emergency. They have a responsibility as educators, as community pillars and hubs for research to proactively adapt and limit risks. There are a number of institutions leading the way, acting as pioneers and exemplars, but many others are sticking their head in the sand.

“We implore universities and colleges to let their students strike, let their staff strike, and add their institution’s weight to the fight against the climate crisis. Declare a Climate Emergency by signing the Global Climate Letter, commit to net zero emissions targets, and start making drastic changes.

“Act now and act fast. Your students’ futures depend on it.”

The EAUC is supporting the sector by working with them to create a Climate Emergency Framework to guide the step change required in institutions. We are also working in partnership with Universities UK, GuildHE, NUS and AoC on a Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education Leaders. This will be launched in November and it is an important opportunity for executive level university and college leaders to establish and demonstrate their commitment to sector emissions reduction and the Climate Emergency.

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