Footprint climate conference: taking a step in the right direction

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Footprint, a unique event promoting sustainability in the UK, is in Durham again after a pandemic-enforced hiatus. From the 16th to 18th June, speakers from across the UK will come to our very own Durham Town Hall to impart their expertise on all things sustainable.

This year’s speakers come from a broad range of backgrounds, from law to journalism, and from local engineering to policy. By partnering with Durham County Council as well as Durham University, Footprint aims to bring together the student body with local opportunities as well as those from around the country. Local groups and organisations have fundamental parts to play in decarbonisation so using their expertise is very useful to all students, no matter what degree.

This is exemplified in the first day which will include talks from Tom Bray, a former mechanical engineer who now works as a Carbon and Energy Projects Officer for Durham County Council.

Then, just after lunch, we will hear from Monica Kruglianskas, an expert in sustainable and regenerative business who studied at the University of São Paolo. By bringing together speakers from a variety of backgrounds and expertise, Footprint hopes to show the wide breadth of opportunity in decarbonisation.

Footprint aims to bring together the student body with local opportunities as well as those from around the country

My personal interest in sustainability began much like everyone else’s, with great concern for the world around me. My time so far at Durham has encouraged this interest so contributing to the organisation of an event like Footprint allows me, I hope, to help other students in seeing not only the challenges but opportunities of the green transition.

Most of the time, we feel frustrated by the lethargic progress governments and corporations make to fulfil their environmental resolutions. It is easy to feel adrift in a confusing sea of international policy and promises our leaders often fail to substantiate. With Europe seeking to diverge from Russian fossil fuels to keep the lights on, a sustainable energy infrastructure is going to be even more necessary.

I think the aim of our generation, among others, is not only to make our leaders accountable but take part in the transition ourselves. Many of us are thinking about what our future careers may look like and now that exams are over, Footprint is a fantastic opportunity to listen to some intriguing options.

This is what Footprint seeks to do, if you are a green activist or just a gentle David Attenborough fan, there are growing opportunities to contribute to the push for net-zero in all sectors. Footprint aims to show the work already being done in the public and private spheres to tackle the problem from London to the North-East where change is happening in earnest, hoping to communicate these opportunities so students can identify what sustainability will mean to them in their careers and wider life.

If that sounds interesting to you, visit the Footprint website website to see the full programme. Tickets are free, but the expertise of the Footprint speakers will be invaluable.

Image: Footprint Conference

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