The Climate Emergency

November 4, 2019

Hull University Students’ Union Declare Climate Emergency

A blog by Isobel Hall, President of the Students’ Union

From today, Hull University Union (HUU) formally declares and recognises that we are living in a climate emergency.

Why are we declaring a climate emergency?

We must act now. If we are to fight the climate crisis then we need change, this starts with recognising the problem for what it is, an emergency. We want to take real and bold action to fight this climate emergency, to do everything we can as an organisation and pledging to use our power as a Students’ Union to create change.

We are standing in solidarity with other Students’ Unions, cities, schools, universities and people across the globe, and with more than 700 Hull students who have signed to support our calls for climate action so far. We stand together to create the change necessary to prevent climate chaos.

As we undergo the sixth mass extinction*, the threat of climate change needs to be taken seriously. Wildlife is suffering due to overconsumption, overhunting, habitat destruction and climate change. By 2050 our oceans may have more plastic in them than fish.* If action is not taken, the impacts of a rapidly changing climate will cause serious ecological, social and economic consequences.

Hull is built on a flood plain and 90% of our city sits below the high-tide line. We’ve experienced problems with flooding in recent years and with climate change threatening further increases in sea levels and wet weather, our city, it’s residents and students are vulnerable. We have a duty to protect our futures.

For too long now, scientists have been giving us serious warnings about climate change and we want to see action taken by our leaders globally, nationally, in our city and here on campus.

How will this help and what will happen next?

In recognition of the climate emergency, Hull University Union will be taking immediate steps to act. We will:

  • Ensure that all union-run events prioritise sustainability, including banning all unnecessary single-use plastics and encouraging student groups to make their events as sustainable as possible.
  • Actively lobby wholesalers and manufacturers to HUU for alternatives to plastic water bottles and unnecessary plastics.
  • Develop a Students’ Union policy for sustainability and the environment as well as updating the Fairtrade Policy.
  • Include sustainability and climate action in a new HUU strategy.
  • Develop our website to provide clear information on our current environmental position to ensure transparency and for educational purposes.
  • Work towards improving our score in the People and Planet University League Table
  • Continue to hold the Climate Action Student Group in order to campaign for climate action – focused on how we can improve sustainability in HUU and the University of Hull.
  • Conduct an organisational assessment for sustainability and the environment in order to improve our practices and hold an organisational steering group.

Lobbying the University of Hull

As well as committing to our own changes, we recognise that we can make a larger impact by working together with the University of Hull. Therefore, as a union will be lobbying for the University of Hull to:

  • Declare a climate emergency.
  • Set a target date to becoming carbon neutral.
  • Declare divestment from fossils fuels.
  • Support students to be more environmentally friendly through measures including fitting more recycling bins and water fountains on campus and using Ecosia as the default search engine for university computers

Earlier this year, Hull City Council declared a climate emergency and aims to be carbon neutral by 2030. By following suit, it is our hope that we are able to support this.

How to Get Involved

Climate Action Group

Are you someone who is concerned about the environment and wants to make a real change on your campus? Our Climate Action Group is open to all students and next meets for a Climate Meet-Up on November 7th at 5 pm in Student Central, 2nd floor. Join us as we work towards divestment from fossil fuels, becoming more plastic-free and tackling the climate emergency!


Join our Facebook group to be part of discussions with like-minded people and be part of a movement to making real changes!

Join here! 


*Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation and World Economic Forum ** Source: