Shaping Futures


At NUSU, we understand that climate, environmental and sustainability justice is at the top of your agenda. This why we have launched Shaping Futures. Find out more about this campaign below.

After the success of last year’s F.U.C.C (Future Under Climate Crisis) campaign, your Education and Activities Officer wanted to continue the legacy of NUSU’s climate work, by running a week of events in collaboration with keynote speakers, societies and the University. This campaign is inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which you can find out more about below!

What is it inspired by? Shaping Futures is inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and our previous NUSU climate campaign, F.U.C.C. Each event can be related to 1 of the 17 goals highlighted by the UN but we’ve chosen to focus on 4 main goals this year to show our commitment to education, gender, climate justice and equality. Each goal is highlighted with its own icon.

Events Objectives Green Pledges Priorities Resources

Our Objectives

Create a glossary and resource bank for all students to access. This will show all previous climate change action taken by NUSU, bringing together the legacy of previous campaigns and student activism.  

To reignite the ‘Green Pledges’ outlined by F.U.C.C. We will re-release the Green Pledges with a view to getting more schools to sign up to this commitment. This will be managed by the Students’ Union Ethics and Environment Representative. 

For NUSU to commit to hosting yearly food bank and clothing collections. Discouraging food waste and donating these collections to local charities and banks in need. 

Why does it matter?  

Green Pledges

NUSU wants to encourage sustainable behaviour through the University-wide ‘green’ pledges. These were launched last year as part of our 'Futures Under Climate Crisis' campaign - and we want to bring them back.

As part of this initiative, we would love for you to submit ideas that your School could set up as Green Pledge. Your submissions will be fed directly back to your School Reps who will then take them to your School. Find more about the Green Pledges below, and see how you can make an impact as a individual, group, or School.

Our Pledge Make a Pledge  

Our Priorities

Whilst our first 3 aims (below) are goals and their definitions outlined by the UN, we are also adding a priority around our existing Futures Under Climate Crisis (F.U.C.C) initiative. This priority will be centered around re-igniting our 'Green Pledges' as well as getting to know NUSU societies which have a focus on climate justice. Shaping Futures is designed to pull together all of the climate work which NUSU has done over the years while emphasizing the urgency of such activism. We have chosen to link this campaign with the UN SDG’s as we believe this highlights the gravity and global nature of the climate crisis. 

Climate Action
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (13).

Quality Education
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (4).

Responsible Consumption
& Production

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (12).

"Futures Under Climate Crisis"
Get to know the societies which have a focus on climate justice at the Union (FUCC)

Events & Panels


It is an easy thing to say, that everyone should care about climate change, global warming and our environment. Sometimes this can come across as a human-centric ideal and these calls on the ‘main stage’ can tend to uphold and keep alive systems that have oppressed citizens across the globe. Therefore, the aim of this campaign is to show how intersectional climate justice can be, it’s just not about neoliberal ideals, we need to target the bigger issues and consider how our environment works in conjunction with other social justice issues. 

Over the past few years, we have noticed the fragility of the worlds’ commitment to sustainability and the environment. With *some* world leaders leaving global agreements and spreading misinformation about global warming. Climate change is real and it needs real actions and ideas to move it forward. This was a wake-up call for NUSU to re-address the balance and re-demonstrate our commitment, not only historically but also moving into the future.  

At NUSU we have historically always pushed the agenda of climate justice ahead. From our Fossil Free Newcastle Campaign to F.U.C.C. We recognise that students are more invested in the environment than ever before. New generations are growing up with huge eco-anxiety, uncertain of the future and the world they are inheriting. This campaign is designed to incorporate those very serious topics, a chance for you to hear from us, the University, and keynote speakers, as well as having those fun events which show the small ways where you can improve the environment around you. 

In recognising that this is not a singular issue, we have events based on education, decolonising, gender and race equality with a view to demonstrating the various ways in which our climate can impact other social justice issues. Our environment is not just literally about the world around us, but who is living in it and how we can make it better for them. 

In order to show your commitment, please encourage your school to sign up for the Green Pledge. This is just the beginning of moving our climate agenda forward.

General Terms

Sustainability - Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
Climate Change - A change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

Global Warming - A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants.

Intersectionality - Coined by Kimberlee Crenshaw, a black lawyer and critical race theory scholar, intersectionality explains the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. This theoretical framework aims to explain how people experience life differently due to their particular social characteristics; for example, a black, transgender, heterosexual women experience different levels of advantage and disadvantage to a white, cisgender, gay man. The combination of these characteristics influences privilege and discrimination and was first created to understand how women of colour were oppressed within society.
In early waves of feminism, scholars saw gender as the core characteristic that impacted a woman’s place in society. They ignored race and assumed all women shared the same white, middle-class experiences, so saw their disadvantages as coming from their gender. This exclusion of black women’s experiences, which are impacted by both racism and sexism, is challenged by intersectionality and encourages people to consider how these components of our identity interact and impact our position and experiences in the social world.  

Eco anxiety - refers to persistent worries about the future of Earth and the life it shelters. Related terms can include; “climate change distress,” “eco-trauma,” “eco-angst,” and “ecological grief,” to name a few — acknowledge that this concern often involves symptoms beyond those of anxiety alone.

Global Terms

COP26 - The COP26 event is a global United Nations summit about climate change and how countries are planning to tackle it. COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed in 1994. The 2021 meeting will be the 26th meeting, which is why it's called COP26.


Paris Agreement - The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.


United Nations - The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945.  It is currently made up of 193 Member States.  The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter. Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.

SDG’s - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

NUSU Terms

F.U.C.C - Future Under Climate Crisis (F.U.C.C.) was an environmental campaign run by NUSU to encourage students to adapt their behaviour to become more sustainable as well as campaigning to create University-wide ‘green’ pledges to create positive environmental change.


Green Pledge - The Green Pledges were launched last year as part of F.U.C.C. they were designed to lobby the SU and Schools to become more sustainable and to show their commitment to environmental justice. This year our Ethics and Environment rep will be relaunching the Green Pledge, so watch this space!

Fossil Free Newcastle - The aim of the Fossil Free Newcastle campaign is for Newcastle University to drop all its investments in fossil fuels, or "fully divest", by 2021. Divestment is the opposite of investment – it is the removal of investment capital from stocks, bonds or funds. The global movement for fossil fuel divestment asks socially influential institutions to move their money out of fossil fuel companies for environmental, moral and financial reasons, and invest in ethical and sustainable alternatives, such as renewable energy.

Useful websites for information on the SDG’s, environmental organisations, events and think pieces to get you started on the global climate change conversations.

Organisations - A link to all 17 of the UN SDG’s, their significance, history and what they mean. - Official link for the UN COP26 website, an introduction to the conference and the big ideas shaping the UK’s climate goals. - People & Planet is the largest student network in the UK campaigning for social and environmental justice. We envision a future in which spiralling inequality, instability, climate crisis and resource depletion are reversed, and a world in which the balance of power in society has fundamentally shifted to an equal world that benefits all of us.


Articles (CW: Ableism, Police Brutality, Racism, Sexism) - “People of colour will be the first to be affected by climate change, but they’re the voices we seem to hear from the least on this matter. The face of the climate movement has seemingly become the white middle-class because they have the privilege of being able to take time off work for these protests, the money to significantly change their lifestyles to be more eco-friendly and the security of being able to trust the police.” - “I am here to support and amplify the voices of my friends and colleagues and the communities we come from. I’ve learned while being at the Climate Talks that if your community doesn’t show up to have a seat at the table, you don’t exist. And even if you do show up, you enter a space that silences you, that puts you into this “radical” category for wanting basic rights acknowledged in the agreement and for wanting meaningful systems change.” - “After all – the issue of the climate operates along so many axes of oppression, including racism, misogyny, ableism and class – so we need more marginalised voices than ever involved in the conversation.” - “Sometimes people forget that at the heart of environmental impact are real people and their livelihoods. Many communities don’t have the luxury of a physical barrier between them and environmental hazards.” - “You know and love Jane Fonda from her two Oscar wins and Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, and you’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding her Vietnam War protest back in ’72. Most recently, she’s made headlines for #FireDrillFriday, a weekly protest at the National Capitol building to raise awareness about climate change and to hold those in office accountable for the environment.” - “We’re only now saying it’s “climate emergency” when the reality is that the world has been burning for decades and the West has only just noticed.”

Coming Soon...

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions we aren’t able to do a foodbank collection during our campaign week, but we will be hosting one later on in the Semester at the SU to show our support for the local community during these difficult times.