University of Glasgow declares climate emergency

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glasgow university main building grounds

Credit: Taylor Robertson

Tara Gandhi
Investigations Editor

The University of Glasgow becomes the first Scottish university to add to the list of institutions that are declaring a climate emergency across the globe. This comes after a proposal by the Committee on Climate Change to set a UK target of cutting greenhouse gases to almost zero by 2050.

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.”

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.

“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.”