University of Sussex declares climate emergency
21st August 2019
The University of Sussex has joined organisations around the world in declaring a climate emergency with Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell stating that “unless the higher education sector works together to address the problem at every possible juncture, we will be failing the young people who turn to us – and who need us to protect their futures.”
In making the move, the University pledged to bring together academic experts from across the globe to devise the technological and policy solutions needed to tackle climate change.
In the past few years, the University has invested £3 million establishing a global research programme to help speed up the delivery of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Led by former UN Chief Scientist Professor Joseph Alcamo, experts in the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) believe the SDGs can be achieved much faster by tackling related goals together - for example, food with biodiversity and energy with water.
The SSRP builds on two threads of excellence at the University of Sussex and Institute of Development Studies: a long, distinguished record in sustainability science and worldwide leadership in development studies. Sussex has been number one in the world for development studies for four of the last five years.
Among other developments, in recent years Sussex has:
- Installed 3,000 solar panels across its campus, the largest solar energy project at any UK university
- Doubled the use of reusable mugs for hot drinks sold on campus
- Increased recycling and food waste facilities for students, staff and visitors
- Implemented sustainable transport initiatives, such as installing charging points for electric vehicles
- Established a socially responsible investment strategy, investing its funds in businesses that contribute to a social good
- Expanded online distance learning programmes
- Begun work to embed sustainability across its curriculum
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