Rowan Earlam, 27, pictured outside the Trent building at the University of Nottingham

A student from the University of Nottingham has called on the institution to declare a “climate emergency”.  

Rowan Earlam, who is studying a PhD in Chemistry, took part in a “Sound the Alarm” die-in protest at the university’s Trent building on December 5. 

This type of demonstration involves participants lying down on the ground when an air raid siren is sounded. 


The 27-year-old from Cambridge said the climate crisis “absolutely terrifies” her and demanded that the institution takes action to reduce its carbon emissions.  

Rowan said: “We need the University to let their students know that [the climate crisis] is happening.” 

She added: “We have to up the ante and be incredibly disruptive to be able to get our message across. 

“We need to curb our carbon emissions, we need to reduce our plastic waste.” 

If the University declares a climate emergency, it would be following in the footsteps of Parliament’s declaration in May. 

However, the government is not legally bound by this declaration. 

Another protestor, Trystan Surawy, called on the University to take responsibility. 

The 22-year-old from Stepney said: “There are no current or future students who will escape the unfolding climate and ecological catastrophe. 

“The University should be responsible in informing students of the current climate situation.”  

Activists participating in the ‘die-in’ demonstration

This protest was one of many carried out by Extinction Rebellion during the general election campaign. 

Notably, activists dressed as bees glued themselves to the battle-buses of both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. 

They argued that neither party’s manifesto was radical enough to sufficiently curb emissions. 

Rowan also alleged that the government has not taken action to combat the climate crisis. 

She said: “The current government isn’t doing anything. 

“The whole system needs to change.” 

The University of Nottingham is so far yet to comment.