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Unions and students call on uni to go green


Staff and students have jointly demanded the University of Liverpool commit to net zero by 2030 as part of a groundbreaking campaign.

The call has been drafted jointly by the University of Liverpool branches of University & College Union (UCU), UNITE and UNISON and is supported by the Liverpool Guild of Students. They have also launched a petition for supporters to sign and demand a Green New Deal at the University of Liverpool.

The Liverpool Green New Deal campaign forms the most comprehensive set of bargaining demands that UK trade unions have ever made of their employer in an effort to take action and avert climate catastrophe.

This is a new approach to climate change action, with unions and students pushing for collective bargaining to transition the university to a sustainable model that tackles environmental harms and economic insecurity at the same time.

The joint unions consider these actions part of a ‘just transition’, and necessary for the university to fulfil its commitments as a signatory to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The campaign calls for a meaningful reduction in local and global emissions, sustainable employment, decolonisation and decarbonisation of the curriculum a just transition in research and continual improvement of the University’s divestment strategy.

The Green New Deal framework that preceded this claim is a crucial element of UCU’s climate change policy. The union has been building alliances with student organisations and their campaigns, including SOS UK, part of the NUS.

UCU Liverpool green rep Ben Crawford said: 

“The climate crisis is the biggest challenge any of us have faced and we need to fight it now or we will be too late. That is why every trade union at the University of Liverpool alongside its student body the Guild of Students have submitted a groundbreaking claim that aims to push the university to decarbonise now.

“Education should be a zero carbon sector and by harnessing the collective power of staff, students and local communities the University of Liverpool has the potential to lead the way, which will be no small feat as its annual turnover is almost £600m, bigger than Liverpool F.C’s.

“We hope that the university now works with us to make Liverpool the first zero carbon institution in the UK.”

Liverpool Guild of Students vice president Ella Hatch commented: 

“I’m proud to be backing the Green New Deal, it is the radical policy that the university needs to ensure a transition to a green economy which has students and staff at the centre. The university has taken too long to take action against the climate crisis, the Green New Deal was needed years ago. I hope they take on these recommendations from the students and staff that are the heart of this organisation.”

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