Professor Joy Carter DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, has been appointed as the University and GuildHE representative on the council of the Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education Leaders, which was launched on 13th November at Ravensbourne University, London.
The commission aims to be a catalyst for real action and long term change. It will develop an action plan in response to the government’s stated climate and environment emergency, which was declared on 1st May 2019. This comes after the University’s climate emergency declaration during September’s Global Climate Strike. The Climate Commission’s emergency framework will be drawn together to initiate a strategic sector-wide approach to tackle the most pressing climate issues. This framework will guide and support all UK and Irish universities and colleges to be net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.
The University of Winchester’s work towards a sustainable future has earned the institution a place in the top 100 universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings and Responsible Futures accreditation with the National Union of Students. Winchester student teachers are training to be among the world’s first United Nations accredited Climate Change Teachers.
“As a provider of higher education, it is the responsibility of the University to lead by example when it comes to tackling the climate agenda.” said Professor Carter. “We provide the tools for students to take charge of their futures. Together we are working to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness and access to information – recognising the importance of these factors is essential to preserving the natural world.”
The University is taking radical action to reduce its environmental impact – from pledging to eliminate the use of unnecessary single-use plastic by the end of 2020 and being carbon neutral by 2030, to opening a zero waste shop for staff, students and the local community early next year. All new developments across the estate meet the highest sustainability standards, no waste goes to landfill and all electricity comes from renewable sources. This includes the recently WELL Certified West Downs development, due to open in 2020. Additionally, all catering outlets across campus offer only Local, Independent, Fair and Ethical (LIFE) products and continue to encourage the use of reusable cups.
Professor Carter is joined on the Climate Commission council by:
- Steve Frampton, AoC President, AoC representative;
- Professor James Longhurst, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, University of the West of England and EAUC representative
- Professor Judith Petts CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Plymouth and UUK representative
These education providers have been selected for their unique positions, in order to prepare their institution for, and act against, the climate crisis. A final report will be presented at COP26, the UN’s climate change summit, in Glasgow November 2020.