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Cardiff University has officially declared a climate emergency

They aim to become carbon neutral by 2030


Cardiff University has today declared climate emergency.

Last week, the Students' Union voted to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2025, and lobby the university to do the same. The environmental motion was proposed by Cardiff's XR President Matt Tomlin.

The university has now committed to a target of zero carbon by 2030, five years later than the AGM motion asked for.

A newly appointed Dean for Environmental Sustainability will oversee and co-ordinate the response to the climate crisis.

The University also revealed it has fully divested from fossil fuels, a year ahead of schedule. Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: "With today's statement, we are adding our weight to the global response to the climate emergency.

"We must ensure our voice is heard in the fight against climate change, drawing on our pioneering research to leverage discussions, action and solutions to the climate crisis."

Over the course of the next year, several university policies will be revised to encourage a reduction in emissions.

Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Government Minister for Energy, Environment and Rural Affairs said: "I would like to congratulate Cardiff University for taking this bold step today and I hope others will follow their example to accelerate their own journey to zero emissions."

What will be done?

Professor Bruford, the newly appointed Dean for Environmental Sustainability will build on the University's positive operational momentum, including a 41% reduction in bottled water being sold in catering outlets since 2017/18.

Bruford will also focus on transferring research knowledge straight to staff, students and the wider community. Professor Bruford said: "The climate crisis requires an urgent response and, from now on, we intend to do things differently."

Project Regrow Borneo

The University is also trialing a reforestation program in Borneo to help staff, students and the public mitigate their environmental footprint from their necessary air travel.

This is the first project of its kind in a UK University. Its aim is to restore depleted rainforest and help save endangered species.

Professor Riordan said: "We are committed to demonstrating leadership in sustainability, and Regrow Borneo is no exception."

Declaration

With declaring a climate emergency, the University has joined with institutions around the globe in signing a Global Climate Letter, which sees the needs for a drastic societal shift in the growing threat of climate change.

The University has also met the targets of the Welsh Government's policy to move the economy away from fossil fuels and to make the public sector carbon-neutral by 2030. As well as the 'Well-being of Future Generations Act', which aims to make Wales globally responsible and to provide a more sustainable future for current and future students.

Striking Cardiff staff members are today joining with Extinction Rebellion protests about the climate emergency.

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