Education sector calls on government to invest in carbon reduction

Schools, colleges and universities from across the UK are set to boost awareness of climate change and put pressure on the Government to do more to support a low-carbon future.

The People & Planet Go Green Week, which launched today (February 6), aims to highlight the education sector’s role in achieving a reduction in the UK’s carbon emissions, as well as the “crucial role it plays in preparing graduates for a green economy”.

As part of the student campaign network event, thousands of vice chancellors, students, staff and parents are expected to write to universities and science minister David Willetts with demands for support to enable the education sector to go green and meet ambitious carbon reduction targets.

People & Planet climate change campaign manager Louise Hazan, said: “The Coalition has made great claims about being the ‘greenest government ever’ but despite the strong targets and rhetoric, there is still a lack of investment and support for the green agenda within the higher education sector.

“It’s time for firm commitments and urgent action to ensure our universities are leading the transition away from fossil fuels towards a cleaner, greener future.”

As a result, the campaign group is calling on the Government to increase investment in carbon reduction and renewable energy projects for the sector, as well as commitments to ensure all graduates leave university with skills to support a green economy.

In addition, it wants the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to set up a commission involving key stakeholders to help implement a more sustainable higher education sector.

Events planned during the week range from pedal-powered film screenings, green fairs, upcycling workshops and free vegetarian food events.

Carys Matthews

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie