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LSE Community Calls for a Climate Emergency

Image courtesy of Molly Blackall

LSE’s Climate Emergency Collective will be sending a letter to LSE Director Minouche Shafik on 23 September, urging her to declare a climate emergency. The Climate Emergency Collective is a group of academics, staff, and students at LSE who have come together to highlight the climate and ecological emergency. The letter details a set of demands the Collective “believe LSE must meet to hold the weight of of this sentiment.”

The letter draws on the October 2018 IPCC Report on climate change and the ongoing school student strikes, along with protests from Extinction Rebellion and comments that: “LSE has not achieved the carbon emissions reduction targets set out in its 2011 Carbon Management Plan”. The letter’s motion to declare an emergency is further supported by the “misleading” calculations of the School’s overall emissions, which fail to include staff travel, water, waste and procurement:

“To demonstrate the School’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency we also demand that LSE divest entirely from investment funds and companies that profit from either extracting, burning or financing fossil fuels without plans for a rapid and full transition to renewable energy, and not accept research funding from those companies.” 

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The letter calls for the School to provide further transparency over its emissions, to include the School’s investments, research funding, travel, and procurement. It also calls for LSE to join the universities of Bristol, Exeter , and Glasgow in declaring a climate emergency. 

Finally, the letter asks for the creation of an LSE Community Climate Monitoring Group that would have the power to run its own town hall meetings at least twice a year and hold the School to account. The aim would be to demonstrate the use of democratic social mechanisms matching the scale of the issue at large. The Collective’s conclusion is quite clear: an emergency needs to be declared in order to tackle a threat that has already begun to cause serious consequences across the world. 

At the time of writing, the letter had 245 signatures, however this number is still growing. Signatures include those from students, staff and academics at LSE. The full letter can be viewed here.

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