RUSU Statement

Declaration of a Climate Emergency

20 JANUARY 2021

Declaration of a Climate Emergency

On 20th January 2021 the RMIT University Student Union Council unanimously passed a motion to declare a climate emergency.

The RMIT University Student Union Council declares a climate emergency following the finding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2018 which indicates with high confidence that Earth is likely to experience a warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030 and that to avoid a more than 1.5°C rise in global warming, global emissions need to fall by around 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by around 2050

We recognise the devastating environmental, social and economic impacts that climate change, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels, more severe droughts, and temperature extremes are already having in many parts of the world. In Australia, we have already seen the consequences of climate change during the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season, which burned over 18million hectares of land, destroyed over 9,000 buildings, cost over $103 billion, and claimed 34 lives

We recognise that as student leaders we have a moral duty to stand up, speak out and express our concern on behalf of the students we represent and for future students all over the world.  

We will continue to work with RMIT as it implements its sustainability strategy and continue to assess our own role in creating a more sustainable student experience at RMIT. As an organisation we believe that the task of responding to climate change will fall heavily on the generation of students who are currently studying at RMIT and beyond. We hope that if educated about the climate emergency and how we can respond to it, that we will be equipped to find a way to tackle climate change and build a future that will protect the environment from further degradation.