A Student Climate Change Think Tank has been established within the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne. The Think Tank committee consists of law and business students, and is supported by various staff members who have an interest in climate change issues. Jonathan Goldsmith, writing in the Law Society Gazette, noted only last week that “one of the legal struggles of most significance to all of us, as citizens or lawyers, is the current attempt to align legal rights with the perils posed by climate change”. The Think Tank will consider climate change issues at a local and global level, as well as exploring how universities, law schools and law clinics might become involved in the legal and policy aspects of climate change. Stuart McCabe, a first year LLB (Hons) student said “‘There has been a lot of negative publicity about the Extinction Rebellion protests in London, I wanted to be part of something that could affect a positive outcome for tackling Climate Change“. Hellen Giblin-Jowett, a Graduate Diploma in Law student added “what we call “Climate Change” is so big that it manifests in different ways to different people. So the more people getting involved, the richer and better the overall picture will be. I hope that the Think Tank will become a place of interdisciplinary sharing, so that we can all learn from each other’s perspectives”.
The newly established Think Tank has today responded to a local air pollution consultation (https://www.breathe-cleanair.com/) after holding a meeting to gain the views of staff and students within the Faculty of Business and Law earlier this month. The timing of the response coincides with today’s Global Day of of Action to promote climate justice around the issue of air pollution #GlobalDayofAction. Northumbria is one of around 40 universities and law clinics from the UK, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia and Pakistan which are taking part in the global day of action. Senior Lecturer Victoria Roper said “students represent the future and I wanted to give Northumbria students a forum to debate climate change issues. The idea of a Global Day of Action was mooted by Stephen Levett of York University at Northumbria’s annual International Journal of Clinical Legal Education conference in Bratislava in July 2019 and it is great to see such a positive response from the international community.” Follow events on Twitter using the hashtags #GlobalDayofAction and #AirPollution.