THURSDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2012
The campaigners formed themselves into the shape of a giant wind turbine, which was photographed from the air. Then people linked arms and the human wind turbine was made to rotate. The scene was filmed from the roof of the University Arms Hotel.
The rally was organised by Energise Cambridge (http://www.energisecambridge.org), a student-led campaign with the twofold aim of reducing the University’s dependence on fossil fuels and engaging students on the issue of climate change. The rally also received unanimous support from Cambridge University Students’ Union and the Graduate Union.
70 students signed a petition at the rally, calling for the University to aim for a large reduction in its carbon intensity (carbon dioxide emitted per unit of energy used). The petition also stressed that an adequate response to climate change requires a financial investment now. In addition, Energise Cambridge has submitted a policy proposal to the University’s Environmental Strategy Committee. The proposal suggests that the University should purchase a much greater fraction of its energy from renewable suppliers and look to develop on-site renewable power generation.
Over the coming weeks the campaign hopes to encourage much more substantial student participation by asking people to complete an online survey (http://edu.surveygizmo.com/s3/770617/Energise-Cambridge). Of the 237 respondents so far, 94.5% agree or strongly agree that climate change is a serious threat to humanity and 90.3% would be prepared to pay an extra £10 per year in university fees to help fund the purchase of renewable energy.
The campaign team is also planning an open meeting with academic staff to discuss the campaign and to encourage them to write a letter of support. Representatives from Energise Cambridge hope to meet with the Vice Chancellor to discuss what more the University could be doing.
Written by Tim Middleton