Last night, the Student’s Union Assembly declared a climate emergency by a unanimous vote.
The Student’s Union committed to working with the Environmental Community of Durham University (ECO DU) to lobby the university for environmentally-sustainable change.
Trevelyan College SU Representative Thomas Pymer brought two motions to the assembly, and after an amendment from Sam Johnson-Audini, both were passed without opposition. The Student Union endorsed Pymer’s resolution to encourage students to “think globally, but act locally”.
Pymer’s first motion was to “declare a climate emergency and transform the University’s environmental identity”. His second, after Johnson-Audini’s amendment, read: “The Environment: SU Core Position Acknowledging the colonial dynamics present in climate crisis”.
The motions were submitted on behalf of the environmental lobbying group ECO DU, who established themselves earlier this year to specifically analyse Durham University’s existing environmental policy. ECO DU’s climate emergency proposal was first brought to the Assembly in June, but the motion was postponed in order to allow for further consultation.
“I’m absolutely overjoyed, it’s fantastic that we have now got the SU completely onside and completely committed, it’s been a ten-month process, so it’s a completely amazing feeling”, said Pymer after the result.
Vismara added: “I’m really happy especially seeing what happened last year, at the last assembly. It’s a good step forward, it’s a massive step forward, we really needed this change”.
This motion commits the Student’s Union to consider the environmental impact of all its future activities. This includes commitments to hold consultations with the university, source sustainable resources for the Union, effective waste management, and campaign for the Greenspace Group to be fully reinstated.
The Durham University Climate Strike will take place on 15th November.
Image by David Gray via Flickr