Article by Pablo Beimler, Co-Manager, Climate Emergency Response, Sustainability Hub
Just a year ago, on February 16, 2021, UBC’s Board of Governors endorsed the Climate Emergency Task Force Report and Recommendations, setting the stage for UBC to accelerate a just and holistic approach to educational and research-related reforms, full divestment, meeting our carbon zero goal, and supporting climate leadership and initiatives led by Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour. While UBC’s communities have made considerable progress in implementing these recommendations more work is needed to achieve these commitments, and that work requires urgency, care, and community.
In the spirit of community-building and #UBCClimateLove, the Sustainability Hub, Climate Hub, and AMS hosted UBC’s first Climate Emergency Week featuring conversations, actions, and celebrations. These events coincided with AMS Sustainability Week, February’s Move UBC campaign, and Black History Month. Events throughout the week were made possible thanks to funding from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) and the UBC Wellbeing Strategic Initiatives Fund.
To generate awareness of climate action and event opportunities throughout the week, the Sustainability Hub (formerly UBC Sustainability Initiative) lit up the Martha Piper Plaza fountain red for “Code Red” on Monday and Tuesday, and green on Wednesday to mark the launch of its new name and 5-year strategic plan. Students and passersby had opportunities to win swag and take photos by the fountain with a heart cutout. The Climate Hub hosted a Climate Kiosk throughout the week in the AMS Nest, as well, making new connections and spurring students to action.