University grasps climate justice debate

30 November 2017
Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham and Professor Jafry

“Tackling climate change is a moral imperative; it is a moral imperative for us all, individually, in our communities, in our nations, and globally.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham congratulated Glasgow Caledonian University for founding the Centre for Climate Justice at a special celebratory event today (Thursday, November 30).

She welcomed the Centre in Scotland that reaches out to the rest of the world by driving projects which help to provide water for all in Malawi and safer alternatives to kerosene-based lighting. 

She said: “Climate Justice is a growing debate not just within Scotland but around the world. The contribution that could be made by this Centre is enormous as we are in at the early part of this debate. It’s really important that the University has grasped this with both hands.”

The Cabinet Secretary called on students and communities to do their part to contribute to climate justice and to think of people whose lives are not as privileged.

“It’s about understanding that our privilege has been bought at the cost of other peoples’ lives and it’s really important that everybody, including university students at Glasgow Caledonian University,  can think about what they can do to make a difference."

A packed audience gathered to hear the Cabinet Secretary, Ann McKechin, Trustee and Executive Officer at the ScottishPower Foundation; and Dr Peter West, Honorary Consul for Malawi in Scotland, address climate change.

Director of the Centre for Climate Justice Professor Tahseen Jafry said: “As we go forward, we will be embracing domestic climate justice, connecting communities and building and creating young leaders of the future to take forward the climate justice conversation. This not something that one person alone can do.”

“We're absolutely delighted to have such a turnout at this inauguration event. To have the Cabinet Secretary, Dr Peter West and Ann McKechin to say encouraging words of support of the work we do at the Centre for Climate Justice, is a drive and motivation to foster our work."

The pioneering GCU initiative was created out of an initial partnership with the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice in Dublin, and is committed to interdisciplinary research and learning with the aim of creating long-lasting solutions for individuals, communities and society.

The Centre currently runs the globally unique MSc in Climate Justice and has research projects and collaborations across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Professor Tahseen Jafry delivered her Professorial Lecture: Climate Justice and Injustice? which discussed among other things, the role of the Centre and its vision for the future.