Student Conference on Sustainable Futures 2017


In February 2017, Leeds University will be hosting its first Student Conference on Sustainable Futures. This unique opportunity, open to Leeds students at any level, from all disciplines, will showcase research, projects and creativity which aligns with the conference theme – Sustainable Perspectives on Future Challenges. This might include innovative work in carbon reduction or urban development, challenges in healthcare, social equality, policy and governance, international trade, sustainable energy, the circular economy, food security or any topic which has a positive impact in society.

The conference will consist of a poster exhibition in Parkinson Court, along with oral presentations taking place in morning and afternoon sessions. Projects which take the form of a music, dance, spoken word performance, art installation or practical demonstration will also be hosted in suitable locations throughout the day.

For more information on the conference programme, CLICK HERE
To register to attend, CLICK HERE 

Priestley International Centre for Climate Launch


The Priestley International Centre for Climate will have its launch on Tuesday 14 June at the University of Leeds. It comprises a formal afternoon event (internal) and a ‘Climate Question Time’ evening panel debate open to all.

The afternoon launch will be attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, and includes the presentation of  the first international prize for solutions-facing climate research,  as well as a substantial prize for a University of Leeds PhD student conducting excellent and timely research into climate change. This will be introduced by a keynote speech from a VIP Leeds alumnus and the main prizewinner will be invited to give a short introduction to their work. We are also delighted to host a presentation by our international partners; this will be followed by a talk and Q&A on new climate research led by key Priestley Centre academics. The afternoon event will conclude with a catered reception.

The launch takes place in the Maurice Keyworth lecture theatre at the Leeds University Business School, commencing promptly at 3.30pm (registration from 3.00pm) and runs until 5.00pm. The event is open to University of Leeds staff, PhD students and invited guests only.  Pre-registration is essential and early booking is advised. Register for your free tickets here.

Climate Question Time

The ‘Climate Question Time’ event, which is open to the public, will take place 7.00pm for 7.30pm at the 340-seater Rupert Becket lecture theatre in the Michael Sadler Building and will feature high-profile panellists from government, policy, research and communications. Panellists will discuss the question, ‘Are there achievable solutions for limiting climate impacts at 1.5C level?’ and questions from the audience should be submitted in advance on the Eventbrite registration form (for preference), or in writing before the commencement of the debate. Tickets are free and will be issued on a first-come basis; pre-booking is required. Register for Climate Question Time tickets here.

Names of VIP speakers and international partners are currently embargoed and will be released in May.

Fossil Fuel Divestment and the University of Leeds

The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown very rapidly since 2014. The movement encourages large investors (like universities, pension funds, local authorities, and faith groups) to reinvest their money away from fossil fuel companies. So far, organisations holding funds worth more than £2.3 trillion have decided to divest. UK universities have been especially influenced by the divestment campaign. Among numerous others, the Russell Group universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, LSE, Oxford, Sheffield, and Warwick have already made full or partial divestment commitments.

But what’s the rationale for the divestment campaign? What difference does it make – to investors, to the fossil fuel industry, and to the chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change? And should the University of Leeds join the movement? Last semester, a student referendum committed Leeds University Union to campaigning for divestment at Leeds. What’s our university’s current investment policy and practice? What are the potential benefits and risks of divestment? How might things change?

In this seminar we’ll debate the implications of fossil fuel divestment for the University of Leeds and the wider world. Speakers will include Toke Dahler (Union Affairs Officer, Leeds University Union), and Chris Saltmarsh and Emily Vincent, activists in last year’s successful divestment campaign at the University of Sheffield. All staff and students are welcome, whatever your views on the issue, or whether you’d just like to find out more.