The University of Glasgow is adding its voice to that of other organisations in the UK and around the world in declaring a climate emergency. It is the first university in Scotland to do so. The move comes as the Committee on Climate Change has proposed a UK target of cutting greenhouse gases to nearly zero by 2050.
David Duncan, Chief Operating Officer and co-chair of the University’s Sustainability Working Group, said: “In taking this stand we are affirming our belief that urgent action is needed to tackle climate change.”
Dr Duncan added: “Glasgow was the first university to confirm that we were divesting from fossil fuels and we have followed this up with additional actions to reduce our carbon footprint and address other issues, such as waste, biodiversity and sustainable travel. We support the actions defined in the recent statement by the Environmental Association of Universities & Colleges (EAUC) and will take steps to implement these.”
Further details on the EAUC statement are available here: www.eauc.org.uk/eauc_declares_a_climate_emergency
Professor Dan Haydon, Director of the Glasgow Centre for International Development and co-chair of the Sustainability Working Group, said: “Higher Education Institutions have a critically important leadership role in addressing this crisis. Our global research community is powerfully positioned to gather and synthesize the crucial evidence of planetary change, together with the consequences of these changes both here in the north, and for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities in the ‘global south’. As researchers, our vision and creativity can make transformative contributions to practices and technology to enable net zero emissions. As a progressive Scottish institution, it is our responsibility to lead the way in local sustainable practice.”
Lauren McDougall, President of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), commented: “Students at the University of Glasgow feel passionately about the issue of climate change and want their institution to play a lead role in tackling it. We have urged the University to take a clear and unambiguous stand. The SRC strongly supports the decision to declare a climate emergency and will be actively involved in implementing the actions defined by the EAUC.”