CLIMATE CRISIS DECLARED

EXCLUSIVE: YUSU declares climate emergency

York Vision exclusively revealed online on Monday that YUSU has declared a climate and ecological emergency.

A declaration was released announcing that ‘We are living in a global emergency created by the willful disregard of our living planet and all life on earth’, along with a string of promises and changes that YUSU plans to make. This includes campaigning for divestment, banning single use plastics in the Union, and lobbying the University to also declare an emergency.

This decision came after the City of York first declared a climate emergency earlier in the year. It’s easy to see why YUSU have made the decision, as now they have more credibility when criticizing the University’s inaction. In the same spirit of things, you can now find a whole series of specialized recycling bins outside the YUSU building,

YUSU have also stated that they will be looking to reduce the carbon footprint and ecological impact of University societies. They’ll be looking to encourage society events to be more sustainable, and ‘greening’ larger events. It’s yet to be seen if print media will be encouraged to move online and print fewer copies, an idea discussed in rumours, but never in concrete proposal.

The decision was completed by the two Environment & Ethics officers, Mark and Merry. As campaigners, they’ve made stories out of involvement in marches and their arrests. As officers, this is the first of their key priorities achieved, although they intended the University to commit to carbon neutrality by 2025, not 2030. Naturally a minor setback, but still a step in the right direction.

With such quick success, it’s easy to assume that their other targets, vamping up the divestment campaign and mobilising student participation in wider activism, might be reached. The paid have made a serious stab at being some of the most effective people within YUSU, and with wider ecological concerns very serious and very urgent, we should only be thankful.

YUSU have also stated that they will be looking to reduce the carbon footprint and ecological impact of University societies. They’ll be looking to encourage society events to be more sustainable, and ‘greening’ larger events. It’s yet to be seen if print media will be encouraged to move online and print fewer copies, an idea discussed in rumours but never in concrete proposal.

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