Environmental sustainability is a particularly hot topic at Lincoln University today, as students and staff take part in
the School Strike 4 Climate.
Bachelor of Environmental Policy & Planning student Jaclyn Phillot has been drumming up support amongst the Lincoln student body, with a large group
attending the Christchurch march.
“The study I’ve done so far at Lincoln has made it apparent how urgent the climate change issue is, and that we’re
running out of time,” she says.
“A scientific report last year indicated that governments need to act decisively before 2035 to keep global warming
below 2 degrees Celsius. It gets me really worried and the more I read, the more worried I get.
“Then I hear people on the radio saying they don’t believe in climate change, and I think, ‘are you stupid?’”
Bachelor of Environmental Management student Shana Dooley, who is also taking part in today’s march, says New Zealand
could be at the forefront of climate change.
“We have the potential as a country to do it – we’re small and we’ve got the resources.”
Both students want to pursue careers that will help address climate change. Shana is interested in working for a
regional district council, while Jaclyn envisages becoming the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
“The Parliamentary Commissioner role seems to be one of the best ways to actually effect change, as you’re able to be
impartial as far as governments are concerned and really hold them to account,” Jaclyn says.
Dr Sylvia Nissen, a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Management, who is also attending the march, says many
Lincoln students are actively engaged in efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
“Sustainability underpins much of our research and teaching at Lincoln and is very much integrated into what we do.
“A lot of our work engages with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and priorities laid out by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“We deal with environmental issues in an interdisciplinary manner, across both the sciences and social sciences. Climate
change is not just a scientific issue, but a policy and political issue as well.”