Climate Emergency


Climate Emergency 

Passed at National Conference 2020

The Problem

The impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world. The ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018, (a) describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and (b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector

Students across the world have played a leading role in pushing climate breakdown to the forefront of government agendas, and that it’s important that this work continues and that our HE and FE institutions are also held accountable for their climate policies as well as local and national governments

Our Position

Strong, radical policies and actions to cut emissions are essential to our future, and also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits. In recognising this, a growing number of local authorities, unions and institutions have already passed ‘Climate Emergency’ motions.  A move towards a Climate Emergency declaration, formation of a national student ‘Climate Action Group’ and call for legislation on fossil fuel divestment is essential.

Proposed Tactics

NUS-USI should declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action, recognising that all public bodies need to recognise and develop a strategy on fighting the climate emergency.

NUS-USI should establish a national NUS-USI Climate Action Group to organise and coordinate against climate breakdown at a grassroots level. 

NUS-USI should lobby the NI Assembly and Executive to agree to conduct research into and commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and to introduce legislation stating that corporations should implement actions to become carbon neutral by 2030.

NUS-USI should lobby the NI Assembly and Executive to commit to introducing legislation on fossil fuel divestment relevant to corporations and institutions across NI.

NUS-USI should work with Unions across the north to set up local climate action groups within their own institutions, helping with development and campaign training.

NUS-USI should develop a national strategy, based on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to campaign for curriculum change across institutions, focusing on the urgency of reflecting the need for a post-growth, green economy and society in our education.

NUS-USI should work with trade unions to conduct research into and develop a strategy on a just transition for workers specific to NI.

NUS-USI should work with NUS and USI on developing a campaign on a just transition for students and apprentices specifically.