The Climate Call Lund was a student-driven petition addressed to the leadership of Lund University. The ambition was to emphasize the broad support among the students for the university taking a leading role in the transition towards a sustainable society, practicing what they preach. In an attached text, examples of concrete measures to reduce the emissions were provided, with an overarching demand that the university reduces its emissions by 50 % within 4 years, in accordance with prevailing science. The purpose of the hands-on suggestions was to shift the topic of discussion from abstract and diffuse goals to specific and measurable targets.
The petition was active during February 2019, during which it was signed by 4.711 students at Lund University. On the 7th of March, the Climate Call was handed over to Vice-Chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz, initiating a long-term collaboration between students and the leadership of the university.
The climate call was authored by four students in close collaboration with the Lund University Student Unions (LUS), with the support of Kuratorskollegiet and thereby the student nations of Lund, as well as Studentlund, Akademiska föreningen and student-driven sustainability organizations including Fossil Free Lund, Hållbart Universitet, Lund Sustainable Engineers, and Klimatstudenterna Lund.
What was the outcome?
Throughout the spring of 2019, the petition was discussed on a high level by the leadership and the board of the university, and has opened up for broader discussions on the topic of sustainability within the university. In numerous cases, the petition has acted as a starting-point or foundation of such discussions, e.g. in student unions, institutions, and the sustainability forum. Tangible effects of the petition include a sustainability action plan introduced by and for the board, in that students of LU now receive an InterRail-card free-of-charge for transportation during exchange programs within Europe, as well as how students for the first time are actively involved in formulating the official sustainability action plan for the university. A working group put together by enthusiastic students make up an active part in this project, at the same time as Klimatstudenterna Lund lives on to drive opinion on the topic of ecological sustainability at Lund University.
We sincerely hope - and strive to ensure - that the work to reduce the university’s emissions and take the lead in a transition to a sustainable society will continue at all levels within the organization. We encourage everyone interested in these questions to get involved in the topic and raise discussions wherever you see fit; be it in your institution, faculty, student nation, student union, sustainability organization, or in Klimatstudenterna Lund. The more we are, the greater our impact.
The Climate Call would never have become a reality without the support from Lund University Student Unions, and we want to direct a special acknowledgement to Christina Abdulahad and Alexander Nymark, president and vice president during the academic year of 18/19. Your commitment and guiding hands through the university’s organization has been both admirable and truly indispensable for the success of the petition.
We also want to thank the authors of the debate article in Dagens Nyheter (2018-10-28), together with all the researchers and employees at Swedish education centres, for the motivation to form a petition of our own. The petition started by Klimatstudenterna at SLU was, of course, also a significant source of inspiration, and we want to thank them as well as all the other students who make up Klimatstudenterna Sverige.
Lastly, we want to warmly thank all the enthusiastic students at Lund University who tirelessly helped us collect signatures. Without you, the reach would never even have been half of what it was. Your commitment has been truly inspiring, and helped us stay motivated. And thanks to everyone who signed the petition. The work continues.
Anny Bernholtz, Hanna Hasselqvist, Freddy Larsson, Wilhelm Wanecek