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Sustainability University panel reveals climate emergency plan
The University of Exeter must take rapid action to tackle the environment and climate emergency, according to a panel of staff and students.
The panel says the university should be carbon neutral by 2040 in terms of activities it directly controls (such as university vehicles and campus electricity) and by 2050 – or sooner – in indirect emissions (such as those associated with waste and products purchased).
Its recommendations include cutting long-haul air travel by 50%, increasing recycling to 70% and halving plastic and paper use – all by 2025.
The group, led by Professor Juliet Osborne, was set up when the university declared an environment and climate emergency earlier this year.
Staff and student engagement sessions are now taking place, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group has agreed to set up an Environmental Emergency Board which will meet before the end of the year and agree a delivery plan from January 2020.
“The university must take transformative, rapid action to tackle the environment and climate emergency,” Professor Osborne said.
Environment and Climate Emergency Working Group White Paper
The University of Exeter (UoE) declared an Environment & Climate Emergency on 20th May 2019 and in so doing, the Vice Chancellor requested a Working Group, led by Prof Juliet Osborne to make a set of recommendations to VCEG about what declaring a climate emergency should mean to the University of Exeter.
It is essential that the University takes transformative, and fast, action to tackle the declared Environment & Climate Emergency. There is strong evidence of the need to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally and stop damaging the natural environment. It is a key priority for our students, staff, and communities. Not ‘walking the talk’ carries a high reputational risk and danger of falling behind in the sector.
The Environment and Climate Emergency Working Group White Paper was developed by a team of over 30 staff and students, including our leading environment and climate experts and over 200 ideas from staff and students. The working group reviewed available data, plans, and scientific evidence. We recommend new targets to reduce UoE carbon emissions and improve the environment. We present a wide range of recommendations to meet these targets, which require change across every aspect of University business: including infrastructure, strategy and culture.
We ask VCEG to approve the emergency actions required to build a prioritized, time-bound costed, plan of action based on the White Paper to meet the recommended new targets to reduce emissions
and improve the environment as quickly as possible.
Wikipedia The University of Exeter is a public research university in Exeter, Devon, South West England, United Kingdom. It was founded and received its royal charter in 1955, although its predecessor institutions, St Luke's College, Exeter School of Science, Exeter School of Art, and the Camborne School of Mines were established in 1838, 1855, 1863, and 1888 respectively. In post-nominals, the University of Exeter is abbreviated as Exon. (from the Latin Exoniensis), and is the suffix given to honorary and academic degrees from the university.
The university has four campuses: Streatham and St Luke's (both of which are in Exeter); and Truro and Penryn (both of which are in Cornwall). The university is primarily located in the city of Exeter, Devon, where it is the principal higher education institution. Streatham is the largest campus containing many of the university's administrative buildings. The Penryn campus is maintained in conjunction with Falmouth University under the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Exeter Streatham Campus Library holds more than 1.2 million physical library resources, including historical journals and special collections. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £415.5 million of which £76.1 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £414.2 million.
Exeter is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities and is also a member of Universities UK, the European University Association, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities and an accredited institution of the Association of MBAs (AMBA).