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Over 800 people sign petition to build windmills in St Andrews

Students demand action to tackle climate change

A petition calling for the University of St Andrews to begin building wind turbines at the University Farm at Kenly has gained over 800 signatures.

In line with the Scottish government's declaration of a climate emergency, members of Amnesty International St Andrews have been advocating for the university to adopt more environmentally sustainable behaviours.

Catherine Bentley, President of Amnesty International St Andrews, told The St Andrews Tab: "The University of St Andrews needs to pave the way for other leading Scottish institutions and make significant steps to fulfil their promise of carbon neutrality by 2020."

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The University of St Andrews received approval to build a wind farm back in 2013 with plans to build 6 wind turbines on the university's farm. This would save 19,000 tonnes of carbon as well as have various community benefits such as creating sustainable jobs and investing £7.1 million into Fife's GDP.

However, the project has faced various setbacks over the last seven years and has not been carried out.

As the planning permission is due to run out in March 2020, Amnesty International St Andrews has called for the University to urgently begin construction.

This way, Amnesty International St Andrews argues, the University can contribute to the country's goal of significantly reducing carbon emissions and preventing a 1.5°C increase in global temperatures by 2030.

The wind farm will offer financial benefits for the University as it currently splurges £5 million a year on electricity and utility bills which are spent "heating poorly-insulated old buildings like those in St Salvator's Quad."

Through the Kenly Wind Farm, the University can become self-sufficient for their electricity needs and minimise their costs while "having a positive lasting impact on the environment."

In light of the various environmental, social and financial benefits of the project, students at the institution are urging the University to take action and fulfilling their promise.

At the time of writing, the petition has 850 signatures – 150 away from its goal. Sign it here.