Cardiff University declares climate emergency

Climate emergency: Both the Students' Union and the University have now declared a climate emergency. Source: Jeremy Segrott (via Flickr)

By Zoe Kramer

As of 28 November, Cardiff University has officially declared a climate emergency.

This decision comes in tandem with plans for net-zero carbon by 2030. The University has also divested from fossil fuels one year ahead of schedule.

According to Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan, the statement is intended to “add our weight to the global response to the climate emergency.

He elaborated on the role of the University within this issue, saying “We must ensure our voice is heard in the fight against climate change, drawing on our pioneering research to leverage discussions, action and solutions to the climate crisis.

“We must also lead by example and accelerate our plans to reduce our carbon emissions, energy and water use and overhaul our operational activities.

“Our move to full divestment from fossil fuels sends a clear and positive message that we are committed to responsible investment, social responsibility and tackling climate change.

“We know these areas are important to our staff, our students and the communities we serve, and we are committed to supporting the global effort to ensure a sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants.”

The University has also recently appointed a Dean for Environmental Sustainability, Professor Mike Bruford. Professor Bruford is co-director of the Sustainable Places Research Institute, the University’s initiative for sustainability science and solutions to climate-related issues.

In regards to these new developments, Professor Bruford said: “The climate crisis requires an urgent response and, from now on, we intend to do things differently.

“We must act quickly. Right across the University there are examples of cutting-edge research, new insights and ground-breaking science. This includes the work of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations – the first such centre to place people at the heart of the fundamental transformation required to tackle climate change.

“There are also inspiring ideas from across our staff and student community about how we respond to climate change.

“We must harness that and work together to help move us on from making this declaration to a comprehensive plan of action.”

Cardiff University has aligned itself with the Welsh Government’s push for carbon neutrality and the Future Generations Act, which is committed to a sustainable future. It has also joined in signing the Global Climate Letter on November 29th, a movement promoting universal recognition and action towards combating climate change.

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