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The University of Strathclyde has recently released their strategic plan, part of which pledges to reduce their carbon emissions by 70% by 2025, 80% by 2030. The university’s principal aim is to achieve carbon neutral for energy and to deliver a net zero carbon emissions position by 2040 at the latest.
18 University buildings are provided with hot water and electricity generated from the Combined Heat and Power District Energy Scheme which has been operational at Strathclyde since October 2018. However, the scheme will be further extended to other buildings at the time when funding permits.
Strath Union took the initiative to hold a referendum between the 22nd and 24th of October 2019 to get students’ support on cutting carbon emissions by 2025. The referendum resulted in 95.44% of the vote cast being in favour and 4.56% voted against.
The elimination of carbon emissions has become part of the fight against climate change and a key priority for Strathclyde University and Strath Union Students’ association.
Kayla Megan-Burns (R) is standing with Rachel Cairns, Vice President Inclusion at Strath Union, while hanging a banner next to them during the Decarbonise Strath Campaign in October 2019.
Kayla Megan-Burns, Vice President Community at Strath Union, has been involved in the development of the university’s strategic plan for the next five years and has been lobbying along side the sustainable branch of the university for this change.
"I think our current student population is more climate focused than ever and they have demonstrated their dedication to this time and time again. We have seen brilliant numbers of students heading out to the Climate Strikes in George Square and Kelvingrove Park at every opportunity they get, and not only that but they were very clear with their voice in the referendum held by Strath Union in October with an overwhelming majority of students voting to decarbonise the institution as soon as possible. I think this target is a major step in the right direction for the university and it is brilliant to see them being so ambitious as to aim to achieve 70% of this goal in the next 5 years. The rate of change should only be accelerated from here but this is still a significant win for our students, Strathclyde, and above all the planet,” said Kayla Megan-Burns.
Goldsmiths, University of London was one of the first universities to initiate a campaign to reduce its carbon emissions and contribute to a wider greening of New Cross in London. Goldsmiths’ goal is to be a carbon-neutral by 2025.
The university’s initiative has become an exemplar and a model to follow for Higher Education.
Strathclyde students joined by the general public at the Global Climate Strike which took place in September 2019. (Source: Megan McQueen)
Apart from the net carbon target, Strath Union has also been involved in the Divestment Strathclyde Campaign through Kayla Megan-Burns, the Union’s Vice President Community. The Union is hoping to get a positive outcome soon for the Divestment Campaign.
Join Strath Union in its fight against climate change and participate in the climate strike movement. Here is a link to the next climate strike.
Sara Galy is an Erasmus Student and Content Writer at Strath Union.