Barcelona students will follow the compulsory module on the climate crisis from 2024 | Barcelona
All students at the University of Barcelona will have to take a compulsory course on the climate crisis after the establishment agreed to meet the demands of activists leading a sit-in occupation.
In an approach considered a world first, the 10,000 graduate and postdoctoral students will have to take the course from the 2024 academic year. It will also develop a training program on climate issues for its 6,000 teacher-researchers.
The announcement came after a seven-day occupation by a group from the anti-fossil fuel organization End Fossil Barcelona.
“Recognizing that we all need to study this marks a shift in the paradigm of university education,” said Federico Demaria, an economics professor at the university and one of 200 who backed the students’ demands.
“The trigger was the student occupation but it shows a general cultural change. Ten or 15 years ago, the university would have sent the police. But now you can’t kick them out because you know they’re right and the company has their backs.
“This is not just another course on sustainability,” said Lucía Muñoz Sueiro, an End Fossil activist and doctoral student at the university. “It combines the social and ecological aspects of the crisis, which are interrelated.”
Student and activist Lorenzo Velotti said he was disappointed that the university refused to comply with the group’s other main demand, namely that it reject funding from the oil company Repsol and other companies that profit from the fossil fuels.
A committee of experts and academics broadly nominated by activists will meet to discuss course content. Among them, Jofre Carnicer, who sits on the International Panel on Climate Change.
Velotti said End Fossil had proposed names of professors with established reputations in the field of the social and economic consequences of climate breakdown and that the university had agreed that these candidates would represent 60% of the commission responsible for designing the course. .
The course will be worth five credits. Each credit represents 25 hours of study: 15 at home and 10 in class. With 50 hours of classroom instruction, the university will likely need to hire more staff.
The university said in a statement that it was “fully committed to working to eradicate the causes of the climate emergency and mitigate its consequences”.
The decision to launch the course came as Isabel Diaz Ayuso, the conservative president of the autonomous region of Madrid, said in a speech that there had always been climate change and dismissed ‘doomsday claims’ as making part of a communist plot.