Kent Union declares climate emergency

Image courtesy of: Sam Wrens

Kent Union has declared a Climate Emergency as part of a 17-point environmental strategy it will be implementing in the new academic year.

The announcement came after years of student protests and national movements such as Extinction Rebellion that have brought companies and Government institutions to focus on sustainability and climate change.

Vice-President for Academic Experience Vicky Saward-Read said: “Declaring a climate emergency has only solidified the importance we have placed on our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We will continue to lobby the University, to not only declare a climate emergency as well, but to make steps in becoming more environmentally friendly.”

The Union also announced that they will be joining the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, a key manifesto point of the out-going Union President.

The 17-point Environmental Strategy will be put into place for the next five years, and includes empowering students through workshops on climate change and encouraging culture changes across the University focusing on recycling.

The goals will follow six of the United Nation’s own sustainability aims, some of which include responsible consumption and production, affordable and clean energy, and general climate action.

In a post to Facebook, Ex-Union President Sasha Langeveldt said: “Our planet is being destroyed and we will no longer be complicit.”

She added: "it is easy for organisations to neglect their duty to it as it hasn’t in the past been a priority, but that is why we need to keep holding organisations to account.

“We must work together if we are going to ever make a ripple in the ocean.”

Several societies have also had a part in swaying the Union’s decision, such as the UKC Conservation society, UKC Amnesty International, and the Beetbox Food Cooperative.

In a website post, Kent Union said: “The Union is determined to be at the forefront of fundamental societal changes needed to tackle ecological breakdown.

“Kent Union envisions being a leading sustainable Students’ Union by 2025.”

More information on Kent Union’s Environmental Strategy (2020-2025) can be found here:

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