Together for our Planet: DMU officially launches COP27

As world leaders assemble in Egypt for the planet’s biggest climate change conference, De Montfort University, Leicester (DMU) hosted its very own launch event, kick-starting two weeks of sustainability-led events across the university.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Katie Normington, was welcomed to open the event by DMU graduate, Ahmed Alkady from Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, who was “proud” to be part of the event - as the annual climate change conference takes place in his home country for the very first time.

Eqypt student


Before introducing the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmed said: “I am more than proud and honoured to be here, knowing that my university is taking action on climate change, my company is doing the same and my home country is leading the nations by hosting COP27, it brings me so much pride and hope for the future.”


Professor Normington then officially launched COP27 at DMU by highlighting the sustainable efforts of staff and students across the university through teaching, research and action, encouraging discussions throughout the evening.

She said: “I was very proud to have instigated the first COP 26 at DMU – which provided us with 26 ideas for the university to further demonstrate its commitment to Climate Action.

“Given its success, I am hoping the COP activity becomes an annual fixture in our calendars as we continue to make progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals in our teaching, research and campus activities.

“Since COP 26, we have moved the agenda forward, adopting many staff and students’ ideas for improving campus and embedding SDGs in learning.”

Full DMU COP27 event listings can be found here.


The third speech of the evening was given by Student Opportunities and Engagement Executive Officer, Aashni Sawjani, who gave a powerful insight into why climate action matters to students and the student community, through her own experiences.

She said: “Students, especially those like me, don’t care about climate change because it is in a tabloid to fill up space, we don’t care about it because the United Nations tells us to - we care because we live it.

“Temperatures are changing, rainforests are dying, rivers are drying up, the ozone layer is melting, animals and people are becoming extinct.

“We don’t need scientists to remind us of how serious this is. You see it around you, we are living it.”

Students were given the opportunity to ask questions and showcase examples of the actions they are already taking to secure a greener future for the planet, through a panel discussion from experts across the university.

Chaired by Professor Andrew Reeves from the School of Engineering and Sustainable Development, the panel consisted of: DMU Sustainability Manager, Karl Letten, Dr Claire Lerpiniere, Senior Lecturer in the School of Fashion and Textiles, Student and Chair of Enactus, Komal Shahzadi and Nyashadzashe Nguwo, Academic Executive Officer at DSU.

Panel COP27

Each of the panel started by discussing their own personal achievements in the help towards championing sustainability at DMU and the projects they were most proud of, before opening up discussions to the audience, sparking lively discussions and forming new ideas for the university to take forward.

More information on COP27 events at DMU can be found here.


Posted on Monday 7th November 2022

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