Glasgow Caledonian University has joined 1050 universities and colleges from 68 countries pledging to half their emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050 at the latest.
The pledge, impacting more 10 million students, was announced today (Thusday 28 October 2021) at the Times Higher Education Climate Impact Forum, illustrating the education sector's leadership ahead of COP26.
Universities and colleges across the globe have signed up to the Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges, an initiative led by The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education and Second Nature, with support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Nigel Topping, the UK Government's High Level Climate Champion for COP26, said: "Higher education institutions have the power to redesign the future. Not only are universities, colleges and schools committing to ambitious decarbonisation plans; these institutions also have the capacity - and indeed the responsibility - to support and educate our leaders of tomorrow. It's fantastic to see so many higher education institutions joining Race to Zero and I urge those who are not yet in to commit and take action now."
Ambitious new commitments for 2030 or sooner from institutions range from energy-efficient buildings and carbon-capture schemes to forest management strategies, and collaborations to test green technologies.
Susan Gardner, Director of the Ecosystems Division at UNEP, said: "The higher education system oversees significant resources in human and financial capital, and how they deploy it can have a real impact on the planet. It is inspiring to see universities and colleges play a positive role in transitioning their institutions to being net zero and nature positive. Young people want to attend universities and colleges that are driving the environmental agenda forward, now the challenge is to scale this great work up from the progressive few to a standard procedure for all."
You can read the Times Higher report, released today, on The Race to Net Zero – How Global Universities are Performing.
To find out more about GCU and COP26 click on this link - www.gcu.ac.uk/cop26