The UK’s largest week of student climate action is returning to the University of Sheffield and organisers are calling for students to get stuck in.
Go Green Week is a national event organised by protest group ‘People & Planet’ which starts on February 13 and over 50 universities will take part this year.
Peter Nolan, an Environmental Science student who is helping to organise Sheffield’s Go Green week, said: “People & Planet is about protest but it’s also about sustainable change and finding solutions to the problem.
“The real change in terms of the climate, is not going to come from the banks, the fossil fuel companies or the Government, because if it was, they would have done that 30 years ago when it first became clear that climate change is an imminent problem and really dangerous. The change needs to come from the people, which is why students should be involved.”
The week begins with a screening of Demain, a French grassroots documentary all about a couple who travel the world in search of solutions to climate change. The free screening will take place in The Auditorium on Monday 13 February.
Nolan said: “The documentary is really inspiring. The message is that there’s not one sort of person who can make a difference with climate change, anyone can be a part of it. Hopefully, that will set the tone for the rest of the week and inspire people to come along to the other activities throughout the week.”
On the Tuesday, there will be an opportunity for interested students to find out more about the People & Planet group at Sheffield, as well as learning about their fossil fuel divestment and research campaigns. The latter is an attempt to stop the University from receiving research funding from fossil fuel companies.
Thursday’s Go Green activity will be a sustainable meal in collaboration with a number of food projects across Sheffield. It will feature a combination of vegan foods and also waste foods from supermarkets, aiming to highlight areas for sustainable improvement.
On the Friday of last year’s event, the participants of Go Green week in Sheffield took part in a protest against Barclays Bank in the city centre, who own a 97% controlling stake in Third Energy, a fracking company. A similar protest which is yet to be decided will occur on the Friday of this year’s Go Green Week.
Last year, the University divested its £39 million endowment from all fossil fuel companies due to “the overwhelming evidence of the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.” 24 UK universities have now made fossil free commitments including Oxford University, Glasgow University and Warwick University.
Nolan added: “Last year’s Go Green Week was really successful, we grew our group a lot and it definitely raised our profile on campus. I’m really hopeful that this one will be just as good if not better, and really get people involved in our fossil fuel research campaign.”