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Build Back Better - UCC Climate Assembly
In February UCC students and staff came together to run a climate assembly in UCC. This was the first assembly of its kind to take place in an university in Ireland. The assembly was inspired by the Citizens’ Assembly, and was based around the need to “Build Back Better”.
The pandemic has exposed some of the deep inequalities in our society, and has made people reevaluate their connection to the planet. We are facing a climate emergency, and it is necessary that we act immediately to instill climate action into everything we do.
The assembly consisted of eight themed workshops, which were co-facilitated by a student and a staff member. The workshops ran over two weeks, and were open to anyone in the UCC community. The assembly was a collaboration between the Green Campus Committee, the Students’ Union, and UCC Societies. Buildings & Estates staff also helped in the organisation of the workshops, and several staff and academics contributed presentations at the beginning of the workshops.
The beginning of the workshops were announce by Interim President and co-chair of Green Forum, Prof John O’Halloran in the video below.
A report was prepared with the findings of the assembly. The Build Back Better Climate Assembly Report can be read here.
The report includes a series of ambitious recommendations for the college management to adopt. These recommendations include improvement to cycling infastrustuce, reduction of private car usage, reduction in academic business travel, and a target for net zero emmission by 2030.
Additionally, a guide was produced to assist other colleges in running similar events. The guide can be found here, UCC Green Campus Climate Assembly Guide. It’s hoped that this encourages other institutions to increase the participation of their campus communities in shaping their climate action policy.