According to the group’s Facebook page, it will aim to “mobilise students in Oxford, nationwide, and across the globe to engage with the climate issues affecting us all in every aspect of our lives”. The theme of this year’s forum, ‘Global Warming – What Next?’, reflects the desire to achieve direct action in solving the problems of climate change.
The OCF will play host to many high profile speakers, such as Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, John Vidal (The Guardian’s Environmental Editor), and Oxford Professor Myles Allen, a key figure in environmental research. In addition, there will be panel discussions on the economic viability of environmentalism, sustainable business, activism, and international climate agreements, as well as a series of workshops for attendees to get involved in.
This is also the first year that the forum will run an ‘Action Day’, a free event aimed at reaching out to the broader Oxford public. This will be held on Broad Street and at the Turl Street Kitchen on 27th January, featuring stalls run by major ‘green’ companies and projects.
Despite the relatively high price of tickets to the event (£12 for an ‘early bird’ pass), organisers are confident that students will be drawn in. Tim Hedgeland, Univ student and spokesperson for the OCF, stated: “The price of a ticket is undoubtedly a bargain, considering the superb quality of the speakers we have invited this year as well as the interactive workshops running alongside them.
“A conference like this, is not only entertaining, but inspirational, and will act as a global warning, encouraging us to take action and make changes for a better, greener future.”
Student environmentalists have been enthusiastic in their support for the weekend. Lucy Pinching, second year English student and Ethics and Environment Rep for Merton JCR, commented: “Oxford’s Climate Forum has, since its inception, been a fantastic opportunity for a thorough consideration of the environmental issues which lie at the heart of Western society.
“This year’s renewed focus on action, however, will hopefully transform the weekend from a mere forum for academic discussion to a medium through which we can begin to engender real change.”
Further information can be found at www.oxfordclimateforum.org