Proposed net zero motion

By admin, 21 April, 2024

This JCR notes;

  • Human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming, with global surface temperature reaching 1.1°C above 1850-1900 in 2011-2020. Global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase, with unequal historical and ongoing contributions arising from unsustainable energy use, land use and land-use change, lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production across regions, between and within countries, and among individuals.
  • Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people. Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected.
  • Global GHG emissions in 2030 implied by nationally determined contributions (NDCs) announced by October 2021 make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C.
  • Limiting human-caused global warming requires net zero CO2 emissions.
  • Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all. The choices and actions implemented in this decade will have impacts now and for thousands of years.
  • Prioritising equity, climate justice, social justice, inclusion and just transition processes can enable adaptation and ambitious mitigation actions and climate resilient development. Adaptation outcomes are enhanced by increased support to regions and people with the highest vulnerability to climatic hazards. Integrating climate adaptation into social protection programs improves resilience. Many options are available for reducing emission-intensive consumption, including through behavioural and lifestyle changes, with co-benefits for societal well-being.
  • Investing in high-quality carbon credits, such as Plan Vivo certificates, supports pioneering projects like Scolel'te in Chiapas, Mexico, which not only sequester carbon but also provide environmental and social benefits to communities worldwide, as evidenced by Plan Vivo's history of promoting sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity conservation, and contributions to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This JCR believes;

  • Assigning blame for climate change is a diversionary tactic that stalls action; as an organization, the JCR has a responsibility to take whatever climate action it can. For example prioritizing rapid emissions reductions and climate resilience measures to limit global warming, ensure equity, and secure a sustainable future for all.
  • Offsetting events through the purchase of carbon credits is not only feasible but also a sensible idea, particularly when allocating up to 25% of an event's budget towards carbon credits, as it allows events to take responsibility for their carbon footprint while supporting impactful projects like those certified by Plan Vivo, thereby contributing to global emissions reduction efforts without compromising the event's success.

This JCR resolves to;

  • Pledge to reach net zero GHGs as soon as possible, and by 2034 at the latest, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5C. Recognise that this requires phasing out all unabated fossil fuels as part of the transition. Make this binding on JCR Committee Members by making the attached changes to the constitution.
  • Set an interim target to achieve by 2029, which reflects 50% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the academic year 2020.
  • Within 12 months, disclose a Transition Plan, which outlines how the targets will be achieved. To be published by a newly created JCR Climate Action Subcommittee, formed of the JCR Executive committee and the Environment and Ethics Officer/s. This will include what actions will be taken within the next 12 months, within 2-3 years, and by 2029.
  • Align support to organisations, events, and individuals with the goal of halving emissions by 2030 and reaching global net zero by 2050. Especially actively campaign for college to set more ambitious targets. All events wishing for any support (use of JCR property or income) from the JCR must submit an environmental impact assessment.
  • All JCR events must be Carbon Offset using high-quality carbon credits to be agreed upon by the Environment and Ethics Officer/s.


  • Additions to PART I: PRELIMINARY
    • 1.40 Net zero emissions refer to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere by events held in or organised by the JCR.
    • 1.41 An environmental impact assessment is a process to evaluate the potential environmental effects of a proposed project, plan, or policy, including the identification of potential environmental impacts, mitigation measures, and alternatives.
    • 1.42 Plan Vivo Carbon credits refer to are carbon credits that are certified by the Plan Vivo Foundation (
  • Additions to PART II: THE JCR
    • 1.3 h) acting to ensure sufficient reduction of emissions by JCR supported events.
    • 4. Environmental Commitment
      • 4.1. The JCR shall commits to achieving net zero emissions by the year 2029.
      • 4.2 The JCR shall set annual emissions reduction targets, with the aim of steadily decreasing emissions leading up to 2029. This will include a carbon budget that will be allocated to the different roles.
      • 4.3 All events organized by the JCR or using income or property of the JCR must submit an environmental impact assessment prior to approval or funding. This must include estimates of greenhouse gas emissions.
      • 4.4 Until 2029 events approved by the JCR shall be required to offset their emissions by purchasing Plan Vivo Carbon credits this shall organised by the Environment and Ethics Officer/s. This is up to 25% of the events cost.
  • Modifications to PART II: THE JCR
    • Before, 1.3. The Objects of the JCR are to advance education and to advance citizenship and community development by:
    • After, 1.3. The Objects of the JCR are to advance education, citizenship, community development, and environmental sustainability by:



  • Lee, H., Calvin, K., Dasgupta, D., Krinner, G., Mukherji, A., Thorne, P., Trisos, C., Romero, J., Aldunce, P., Barret, K. and Blanco, G., 2023. IPCC, 2023: Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report, Summary for Policymakers. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, H. Lee and J. Romero (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Carter, S., 2009. Socio-Economic Benefits in Plan Vivo Projects Trees for Global Benefits, Uganda. Plan Vivo Foundation and ECOTRUST Uganda, Kampala.
  • Biermann, F., Kanie, N. and Kim, R.E., 2017. Global governance by goal-setting: the novel approach of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 26, pp.26-31.
  • Bennett, G. (2020). Fact Sheet: Community-led conservation. Forest Trends Publications
  • Orrego, J. (2005). The Plan Vivo experience with carbon service provision and the potential lessons for watershed service projects. International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK and ECCM, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Scolel’te – mexico (1997) Plan Vivo Foundation. Available at: (Accessed: 21 April 2024).