QCAN: Campaigning for knowledge of sustainability

QCAN: Campaigning for knowledge of sustainability


Who are QCAN?  

A student-led action group of staff and students from Queen’s University, Belfast. Campaigning for knowledge of sustainability across our SNBE.

Why does QCAN exist?  

49% of the UK’s GHG emissions are linked to the construction and operation of its built environment. (LETI, 2020) We are the next generation of Architects, Engineers, and Planners, it is our responsibility to leave university with the knowledge to address the climate and ecological breakdown.

Queen’s Climate Action Network have hosted two lectures this semester so far, our first with Michael Pawlyn founder of Exploration and our second with Queen’s Honorary Professor Gary Clark from HOK. Both were very well attended by staff and students across our SNBE. This lecture series allows professionals currently working within the built environment to share some of their invaluable knowledge and resources in addressing the climate emergency.

At the beginning of the year, QCAN submitted several amendments to the Green New Deal proposal created by QUBSU Climate Action Group’s (CAG). Our points were considered and are now integrated into the updated GND. Most significantly point three now states, ‘All new and existing buildings owned by the university should be upgraded in line with the RIBA 2030 challenge targets.’  If you are interested in finding out more about the amended GND you can find it here. QCAN stands with CAG in the mission to get Queens to declare a climate and ecological emergency and commit to the aim of going Net Zero Carbon by 2030 (or earlier) by agreeing to the points of the Green New Deal.  

QCAN made it into January’s issue of the RIBAJ along with 13 other climate activist groups from Architecture Schools across the UK, this article is a celebration of the grassroots activism currently happening. We are in constant conversation with Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) and the other student climate groups this allows us to connect, collaborate and disseminate information between us.  

We are currently in the process of making QCAN an official society within Queen’s, this will give us access to financial support and ensure that the network will have a legacy.  

We are looking to expand our network within Queen’s and throughout the School of Natural & Built Environment. If you are interested in being a part of the QCAN community and want to get involved with our work, you can fill out this form and we will get back to you!  

Follow us on social media to find out more! 


A digital resource communicating the work of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast