Explore UBC student and staff perspectives on the climate emergency from this year's Climate Emergency Week.

UBC student and staff perspectives on the climate emergency from this year's Climate Emergency Week.

How do we tell our climate stories?

In early February 2023, the Sustainability Hub coordinated the second annual Climate Emergency Week at the UBC Vancouver campus. Calling on students, staff, faculty, and community members to join collective action for justice, people and our planet, the series featured over 40 activities ranging from panel discussions to theatre productions. 

While the series unfolded, UBC students Rachel Peressini and Emiko Wijeysubdera, with help from Lillian Hempel, connected with students and staff at events, workshops, and fairs to better understand how UBC community members feel about the climate crisis, and where these students and staff find strength and hope as they work to address the compounded and catastrophic impacts of climate change.

What emerged was a shared sense of anxiety. But from this anxiety participants spoke to the power of their connection with peer networks engaged in climate education and action, and the incredible hope that is generated from this community of care. 

Meet the team

Rachel Peressini is a fourth-year Geography student with a passion for environmental justice and social equity. She hopes to blend her studies and volunteer work to contribute to climate justice through community based and driven solutions. 

Emiko Wijeysubdera is a second-year student pursuing dual Applied Science and Arts degrees in Engineering Physics and Human Geography with a minor in Indigenous Studies. She hopes that this interdisciplinary focus will allow her to understand the scientific background and cultural traditions of the people and places around her, allowing for meaningful and impactful community-focused work.

Lillian Hempel is a third-year student majoring in Geography with a minor in Psychology. She is inspired by topics pertaining to climate justice, equal rights, and the development of walkable communities.

"Seeing that we're not alone in those feelings, helps alot."

– Esmé Decker, AMS President, film participant