By Billy Stockwell, Climate Correspondent
It has been confirmed that Tony Juniper and Ed Miliband will be speaking at Bristol Students’ Union Climate Emergency Day of Action at the end of this month.
The Climate Emergency Day of Action will take place on Friday 26 February and has been officially timetabled into the university calendar.
It will be the first time climate action has been prioritised over standard academic lessons by the University.
February is Sustainability Month so expect four weeks packed full of talks, panel discussions, mingles, workshops, volunteering opportunities and more.— Bristol SU (@Bristol_SU) February 1, 2019
Join the Bristol SU RAG, Volunteering and Sustainability Network for a month of sustainable fun >> https://t.co/TMDYbC9H6s pic.twitter.com/CrrVe0MIYU
Students, staff and members of the public have been encouraged to take part in the day, which has been timed to mark the end of Sustainability Month.
Ruth Day, SU Student Living Officer believes that climate change is the ‘single biggest issue’ we are facing.
She said: ‘It’s important that everyone is able to access the education and skills they need to help tackle it.
‘I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to work with university on this at it demonstrates their commitment to tackling the climate emergency.’
The day of action was one of the main aims for the SU Officer team this academic year.
David Ion, SU Undergraduate Education Officer, is ‘really excited’ to hear the guest speakers who are taking part in the day of action.
He said he was ‘looking forward to students being able to learn more on such a vital topic.
‘The Climate Emergency Day of Action was one of my aims for this year and it’s great to see it come into fruition.’
Dr Erik Lithander, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement at the University of Bristol, says he is ‘incredibly proud’ of the effort the student body is putting into this issue.
Dr Lithander commented: ‘The University has already won numerous awards for its work on sustainability and we have more ambitious plans yet – including becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
‘The partnership that this Day of Action represents is a fantastic foundation for the very important work that all of us have to do to support sustainability in all its forms.
‘I very much look forward to supporting its success.’
A-Z of climate action in Bristol: 26 projects, people and problems to spur you into action this month
£20,000 has been donated by Bristol Alumni and friends to Bristol SU to continue funding environmental projects after the day of action.
Events will be run online throughout the day, including live guest speakers, panel discussions and even a People's Assembly.
Confirmed speakers are:
- Environmental campaigner Tony Juniper
- Ed Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
- Larissa Kennedy, NUS President
- Mya-Rose Craig (known as Birdgirl), Ornithologist
- Katie Alcott, founder of Frank Water
The University of Bristol was the first UK university to declare a climate emergency in 2019.
Since then, it has been taking steps to reach its target of carbon neutrality by 203o.
For example, following a campaign led by two Veterinary students, the University is installing Ecosia as the default search engine across campus.
Full details of the day of action can be found here.
Featured Image: Epigram/Lucy O'Neill