University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

University of Sussex declares climate emergency

Becca Bashford

ByBecca Bashford

Sep 29, 2019

 

By Becca Bashford, News Editor. 

The University of Sussex has officially declared a climate emergency. Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell, speaking at a UN Political Forum on sustainable development, stated: 

“It is absolutely clear to me that the urgent action needed to address the daunting challenge of global climate change cannot be achieved without the expertise and collective voice of the world’s universities. Sussex is in an extremely strong position to lead this charge.”

Sussex has joined over 7,000 universities worldwide in declaring a climate emergency amid growing pressure from activists and academics who are striving to instil the harsh reality of a recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, which warns that we have only twelve years to limit the catastrophic effects of climate change.

Before the declaration, the University of Sussex had already made commendable efforts to be a “Green University”. In fact, they are working to become one of the greenest universities in the UK, pledging to cut carbon emissions by 45% by the year 2020. 

In recent years, the University has also commissioned and completed the largest solar energy project in the UK, doubled the use of reusable mugs for hot drinks sold on campus, and invested £3 million into a global research programme which is helping to implement the UN’s ‘17 Sustainable Development Goals’. 

Whilst Sussex’s current environmental practises are admirable, they have also acknowledged that the seriousness of declaring a climate emergency must be met with equally serious institutional changes. Earlier this month, Goldsmiths, University of London has scrapped all beef products from its campus in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, boldly stating: “Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words”; looking forward, it is vital that the University of Sussex matches such radical action in response to the ever-growing climate crisis.

 

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