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Pakistani student Aliza Ayaz leads student engagement at UCL

LONDON: University College London (UCL) has announced it will divest from fossil fuels by the end of 2019, as the university launche its bold new sustainability strategy on October 19 (today).

Following consultation from industry experts, climate scientists, various working groups, the Sustainable UCL Team also worked with student engagement teams to get all thoughts on board.

Aliza Ayaz studied at Karachi Grammar School and joined University College London (UCL) in 2017 to study Global Health and founded the Climate Action Society (CAS), she said “I study population health sciences, and I am witnessing how climate change is slowly degrading our physical and mental health, especially those of people of colour and minority groups. But, the good news is that a lot can be done to mitigate those affects, to even remedy them. That’s why my favourite part of the new campaign is the commitment for every student to have the opportunity to study a climate change module.”

Aliza was the youngest speaker and acted as a student representative amongst the cohort of renowned academic staff including leading scientists and departmental heads.

She opened her address to 150 academics at one of the most sustainable buildings in Central London – The UCL Student Centre “This is a Strategy that celebrates inclusive climate action and proactive, collaborative sustainable change. Particularly, I am very pleased that so many students were involved in developing the strategy for a Sustainable UCL.”

She was invited to speak after Richard Jackson, UCL’s Sustainability Director and Professor Michael Arthur, President & Provost at University College London. She highlighted the aspects of the Positive Climate Campaign and the Student engagement experience.

Read more: Eighth grade Pakistani student selected for NASA internship

“I did not do this alone. It takes a whole team of people – people of various origins and backgrounds, of various interests and drives, and we were able to catalyse our voices. So many other student clubs have been involved, thanks to the team at Sustainable UCL, and a lot of it came from Fossil Free’s testament to concern around climate change.” Aliza said.

Aliza added: “At UCL, I feel really lucky to do the work that I do, to do it with people that are equally if not more passionate to champion change for a sustainable future, and to get opportunities to implement those changes.

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