COP26 students deliver feedback to VC
Students speak of 'meaningful' trip to COP26
A delegation of University of Bradford students who travelled to COP26 met with Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon to relay their findings.
Bubotu Hachitapika, Homeyra Karimivahed, Joshua Alade, Anisha Samantara and Chukwuemeka Nwachukwu, travelled to the climate conference in Glasgow last week, with some even attending a presentation by former US vice president Al Gore.
On Thursday November 11, they met with Prof Congdon and Profs Amir Sharif and Prathivadi Anand (who also travelled to COP26), together with University chief finance officer Stuart McKinnon-Evans and University Secretary Riley Power.
The event follows the University’s newly launched Sustainability Project.
Joshua said: “It was nice to hear the voices of people who are marginalised talking about climate change, and also to be there representing the University. In some respects, I think it was a case of ‘talk, talk, talk’ but that’s where young people can make a difference, by taking action within their own circle of influence.”
Chukwuemeka said: “One of the major takeaways for me was we need to use technology to monitor things like carbon data. It was also good to see indiginous people at the conference, and it’s great the University has been awarded permanent observer status.”
Homeyra said: “Part of the problem is accountability - the idea of not passing on problems to future generations and also undoing the wrongs of this generation - I felt this could have been established in a better way. I felt empowered to be able to go there. For us to see this was like connecting the dots.”
Bubotu described the visit as “deeply meaningful”, adding: “This is no longer something we can see as being ‘in the future’. It’s happening now and we need to act now.”
Prof Anand dubbed the Bradford COP26 visit a success and said he looked forward to attending future conferences, adding: “It was very worthwhile, especially for the students - it was amazing to be part of it. Universities like ours have enormous potential to contribute to this debate.”
Prof Congdon praised the delegation and added: “It has been fascinating to listen to their reflections. The goals of COP26 are in complete alignment with the University’s recently launched Sustainability Pledge and our long term strategy on improving people’s social mobility. The power, intellect and passion of our students is something I am proud of, and that we need to continue to support.”
A special COP26 reflection event is due to take place on November 25.