We Have the Facts, We Will Have Climate Justice

In a world where governments care more about money than the environment, it has been left to the people to decide which shade of green we want for our planet! With an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste entering the world oceans from coastal regions annually and Donald Trump looking to re-open coal mines in the USA, it is now down to the people to make the change. But we need the support of the government, we need them to wake up and take responsibility and write legally binding agreements to cap the global temperature rise by less than the tipping point! 2 degrees is not good enough, because at 2 degrees mountain glaciers and rivers will start to disappear, 10% of the world’s population will be displaced due to sea level rise and A THIRD OF ALL LIFE ON EARTH WILL FACE EXTINCTION! As a population we need to band together to pressure the officials to enforce a mandatory cap in temperature rise at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and become carbon neutral by 2030! Because by the time we reach 2050 it will be too late.

In 2014, just 5 countries accounted for 70% of global CO2 emissions, including: China, the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and Japan. This sparked the launch of the “land mark agreement” to combat climate change in 2015 – COP 21, The Paris agreement, which THE USA HAS NOW PULLED OUT OF! China is so far the only country to make a major difference, announcing plans to invest over $3 Billion in renewable energy! Whist the EU’s aim is to become carbon neutral by 2050 and cut energy use by 20% below business-as-usual projections by 2020. This is NOT good enough! We are the 3rd largest contributor to CO2 emissions globally and our member states are among the wealthiest countries in the world. With these stats, there is NO EXCUSE for not making more of an effort to become carbon neutral! Because of our governments idleness we are now on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7 degrees C, 0.7 above the tipping point.

Despite all these statistics, there has still been no legally binding agreement to combat climate change since 2009! And there are still countries refusing the latest agreement (Katowice 2018), including the USA, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Knowing this, how can we rely on governments who are not willing to make a sacrifice to save the planet? If the temperature continues to rise there will be no trade, there will be displacement of people and there will be extinction!

We have the facts. We have the power. We will have Climate Justice.

Works Cited

Howard , B. C., Gibbens , S., Zachos, E. & Parker, L., 2019. A running list of action on plastic pollution. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/07/ocean-plastic-pollution-solutions/
[Accessed 19th February 2019].

news, s., 2018. What Will Happen As The World Gets Warmer?. [Online]
Available at: https://news.sky.com/story/what-will-happen-as-the-world-gets-warmer-10336299
[Accessed 19th February 2019].

United states enviromental protection agency, n.d. Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data. [Online]
Available at: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data
[Accessed 19th February 2019].






Teach-In Week at Manchester Uni announced to raise awareness over climate change

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A new initiative aimed towards expanding students’ understanding of climate and sustainability issues is set to take place between the 18th and 22nd of February.

Promotional material distributed to advertise the cause stresses the need to demand ‘climate justice’ and ‘take back our education’.

The four-day movement aims to encourage teaching on climate change-related matters, through a collaboration between academics and students.

Teach-In Week encourages a refusal of the current university curriculum, attempting to encourage a discussion over putting more powers into the hands of students in determining the content of their studies.

Organisers of the event claim that the intention is not to disrupt courses and lecture content, but rather provoke a meaningful debate over the true purpose of a university education.

Lizzy Haughton, the Activities and Development Officer at the SU, who is behind the cause, pointed to the Youth Strike 4 Climate campaign in Switzerland and Germany, that saw over 30,000 students strike over the failure of their degree programmes to adequately educate themselves and their peers over the planet’s future.

In an email explaining the cause, Haughton argued that students had to be ‘shown the way’ in regards to such issues. Identifying a 12-year estimate for dealing with climate breakdown before facing human extinction, Haughton was clear that the issue was not whether “they [students] care enough”, but “telling them that they have to care”.

Haughton herself is involved in the Extinction Rebellion movement, that seeks to achieve radical change and sometimes controversial methods, including the welcoming of arrest.

The objective of overhauling government and economic policy in regards to environmental issues has developed a new branch as it enters grassroots involvement in university education, with possibly transformative effects.

For those looking to get involved with Teach-In Week, there are weekly information sessions up until the event itself, held every Tuesday from 3-4pm in room 1.3 of the SU.

Those interested are also encouraged to contact Lizzy Haughton at elizabeth.haughton@manchester.ac.uk, or alternatively, Ryan Woods, at ryan.woods@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk.