In August the IPCC published its latest report, stating that we can still stop climate change and limit warming to 1.5 °C, but that urgent and massive acceleration of action is required. We need higher education institutions to act now.
At the moment, less than three percent of the world’s higher education institutions, HEIs have pledged net zero targets (Race to Zero, 2021). To limit warming to 1.5 °C we need a wake-up call from ten thousands of HEIs in order to give climate science its much needed credibility to be followed by society.
With #ActOnYourClimateScience campaign we will give you the opportunity to put pressure on universities and colleges to impact society on a large scale.
Become a national campaign coordinator!
As a campaign coordinator you will have a one year long (at least) volunteer position to launch, run and scale the campaign in your country or district/state. During 2022 we will provide you with the training and support that you need to succeed. The academy sessions will be held by world leading climate trainers and scientists.
Student have the power
Psychological evidence shows that we are more likely to listen to those who practise what they preach. Many climate scientists are leading by example, but this has not influenced enough people in power – it has to be implemented on a larger scale.
We students are the lifeblood of universities and colleges, and therefore we have the power to push for this change. To enable it, we are now developing a global campaign entitled #ActOnYourClimateScience. It involves an international frame work with carbon zero targets and a ranking, as well as national action papers.
The campaign is led by our coalition of international and regional students’ organisations, and coordinated by our campaign committee and its teams. In the coming month, we will recruit national coordinators to our academy program, to start up the campaign on a national scale.
Campaign Goals by COP27:
- Have 1 000 HEIs signed to the Climate Framework
- Launch campaign nationally in 30 countries
- Advocate for science-based targets internationally
- Release an international student-led climate ranking
- Develop an international student action paper.
Climate Framework for Higher Education Institutions
The framework is to encourage and build bold climate leadership at HEIs. It outlines a one year process from when a HEI signs the framework, starting with holding an inclusive and broad dialogue to implementing science based targets and actions. It will be advocated for in each country by our national coordinators in collaboration with networks and organisations of local students and scientists.
HEIs need to set science-based targets, taking into account equity, without relying on non-existing negative emission technologies and loopholes. HEIs have to commit to carbon budget with science-based mitigation rate. In developed nations, HEIs are required to commit to carbon zero by 2030. In developing nations, HEIs are required to commit to carbon zero by 2040. Reporting on their climate impact should include scope 1, 2 and 3.
Student Action Papers
Our national coordinators will organise events, where students gather to generate ideas for action. From these, the national coordinators will develop and present a students’ national action plans toHEIs. This gives them the students’ perspectives in each context when developing their action papers. Students should also be involved when developing each HEI’s action paper. An international action paper will also be developed out of the national action papers gathered.
As a catalyst for quicker reforms, we will develop an international student-led climate action ranking for HEIs. Currently, there are several such national rankings which will be referenced in creating the international ranking. This ranking aims to pressure HEIs to measure all of their emissions and improve their sub-targets and action plans every year. It would also be a useful tool that students can use when deciding where to study.
Pre-Launch Event 30th October
At out Pre-Launch Event on the 30th October 2021 we had panel discussions to talk about how we can build a successful campaign. We also started our first recruitment round for national coordinators.
Campaign Coalition Members:
Global Student Forum
SOS, Students Organising for Sustainability
All-Africa Student Union
Organización Continental Latinoamericana y Caribeña de – Estudiantes
Commonwealth Students Associations
European Students Union
Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions
SOS, Students Organising for Sustainability UK
Tanzania Youth Biodiversity Network
International Climate Students Movement