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Students call for intergenerational climate justice at U7+ Worldwide Student Forum

29 November 2021

Student delegates reflected on their achievements over the Forum's five months, as well as what more needs to be done to achieve intergenerational climate justice

students at the Forum

Earlier this month, the U7+ Worldwide Student Forum 2021, which brought together 94 student delegates from 24 U7+ partner universities across 12 countries, drew to a close.

At the virtual closing event, 15 student group leaders presented on key takeaways and recommendations from their final reports, including the importance of tackling climate change through an intergenerational lens and amplifying the voices of youth sustainability leaders to influence global government strategies.

UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe) Dr Uta Staiger chaired the event and U7+ Student Leaders Board representative Shivona Fernandes-Köhler and Northwestern’s Annelise Riles gave keynote speeches, congratulating the students on their participation and engagement.

Addressing the students, Dr Uta Staiger said: “We are particularly pleased that you’ve managed to bring all of your views together to broker a compromise and consensus, which our political leaders don’t always seem to manage quite as effectively. They may be able to take a lesson or two from you. So not only thank you, but also congratulations to you.”

Between July and November 2021, the student delegates engaged in a wide variety of activities, debating and learning from each other through peer-to-peer discussions, academic events and skills masterclasses hosted by UCL.

This included a series of four roundtables in July 2021 organised by the UCL Cities Partnerships Programme, in collaboration with the British School at Rome and the British Embassy in Italy, as part of the All4Climate pre-COP26 programme.

Dr Thomas Kador (UCL Arts & Humanities), Dr Carla Washbourne (UCL Engineering) and Ashish Ghadiali (UCL Activist-in-Residence) hosted masterclasses in resilience for an uncertain future, engaging with policymakers and the climate justice paradigm, respectively. 

The final reports that the students produced were presented at the U7+ Presidential Summit at the end of October 2021, where presidents of 29 leading universities from 12 countries warmly welcomed the recommendations.

UCL President & Provost Dr Michael Spence said: “The Forum has centred student voices in the debate, with student delegates proposing ways to incorporate the interests and rights of future generations into climate action, policy and planning. I would like to thank those UCL colleagues and our fellow U7+ convenors who gave so freely of their time to help make this year’s Forum a success.”

The Forum was jointly convened by UCL with Northwestern University and the U7+ Student Leaders Board, on behalf of the U7+ Alliance, and centred around the theme of “Climate Change: Intergenerational Conflict or Intergenerational Alliance?” 

More information


Credit: Shivona Fernandes-Köhler

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